Can one individual entering the buy to let market purchase for example 6 domestic properties from a national builder over a period of three months, each priced the same with a small consideration for each without them being linked for SDLT purposes? (The properties are adjacent to each other).
The problem is being able to show that each purchase has been negotiated independently of the others and that there is no discount granted on any of the purchases because of the other contracts being entered into and completed.
This is a common problem for buy-to-let intermediaries who contract to buy ten or twenty units off-plan and hope to flip the contracts before completion – where some contracts are flipped, how do they intermediaries show that teh properties they retain were not given a discount because of the other transactions which could be resold single at a higher price.
It may be of assistance that HMRC’s standard letter in response to queries about linked transactions says that only the taxpayer is really in a position to decide whether these transactions are linked.