LBTT4010 - Meaning of residential property

LBTT guidance on the meaning of residential property for the purposes of LBTT.

In most cases there will be no difficulty in establishing whether or not a property is residential property. Any property which is not residential property is treated as non-residential property for LBTT purposes. See LBTT4012 for further guidance on non-residential or ‘mixed’ property.

Residential property is:

  • a building that is used or suitable for use as a dwelling, or is in the process of being constructed or adapted for use as a dwelling;
  • land that forms part of a garden or grounds of a building suitable for use as a dwelling. This includes any buildings or structures on such land; or
  • an interest in or right over land that subsists for the benefit of any of the above.

The use of the property at the effective date of the transaction overrides any past or intended future uses for this purpose.

A change of use from residential to non-residential property takes effect from the time that the associated planning permission and any building warrant for conversion works have been fully implemented. This is when:

  1. a completion certificate has been given for any work requiring building warrants and
  2. a submission has been made under section 27B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, as amended, notifying the local authority of completion of the development.

Where there are no works involved in a planning application for change of use, a change to the status would occur when the change of use actually occurs. Full documentation should be retained.

If a land transaction takes place at an earlier point, residential rates will apply.

Where there is a proposed change of use from non-residential to residential, the property becomes residential for LBTT purposes as soon as the process of construction or adaption for such use begins.

If the transaction involves six or more residential properties, then this is treated as non-residential property for LBTT purposes.

Buildings used for the following purposes are residential property:

  • residential accommodation for school pupils;
  • residential accommodation for students – but not a hall of residence for students in further or higher education (see below);
  • residential accommodation for members of the armed forces;
  • an institution that is the sole or main residence of at least 90% of its residents and is not one of the buildings listed as non-residential property in LBTT4012; or
  • holiday homes/lets, including those which cannot be used all year round.

LBTT(S)A 2013 section 59

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