There are many scenarios where two or more people may own or buy a dwelling together. The term "joint buyers" relates to both couples purchasing a dwelling jointly and to every other scenario where two or more parties purchase a dwelling, almost always on a common, or pro indiviso basis (i.e. where ownership of a property is to be held by two or more parties in individual shares).
Where, at the end of the day that is the effective date of a transaction, any of the joint buyers owns two or more dwellings and is/are not replacing their main residence, the ADS will apply to the entire consideration for the transaction.
Where two or more buyers each take a share of the ownership of a dwelling, each buyer who is jointly entitled to the ownership of the dwelling is deemed for the purposes of the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016 to be the owner of the dwelling ("deemed ownership" - each is deemed to be the sole owner). The definition of "jointly entitled" in section 65 of LBTT(S)A 2013 covers common property in Scots law.
Equally, where two or more buyers are entitled/have a right to the ownership of a dwelling but have not taken title to that dwelling, each buyer who is jointly entitled to the ownership of the dwelling is deemed to be the owner of the dwelling for the purposes of the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016 ("deemed ownership"). For example, if siblings were to inherit equal shares in the ownership of a dwelling, each sibling would be treated as the owner of the dwelling ("deemed ownership").
The overall effect is that each joint buyer is classed as the "buyer" in a property transaction.
Consequently, where there are joint buyers of a dwelling and, at the end of the day that is the effective date of the transaction, one or more of those joint buyers owns more than one dwelling then, if the main residence of each joint buyer who owns more than one dwelling is not being replaced, the ADS will apply.
In other words, where there are joint buyers of a dwelling and either or both own an existing main residence, unless both of the joint buyers have sold (replaced) their previous main residence before (or on the same day that) they acquire the new dwelling, the ADS will apply.
Where one of the joint buyers in a transaction to purchase a dwelling is a non-natural person, the ADS will automatically apply to every residential transaction (other than certain trust transactions as detailed in part LBTT10063 of the guidance) and the position relating to the replacement of a previous main residence will not apply.
But ADS will not apply to transactions where a person (whether an individual or a non-natural person) is acquiring a further part of a property which they already jointly own. Note that the transaction may still be notifiable and chargeable to LBTT (without ADS) if any consideration is paid, or debt assumed.
Example 42: Joint buyers, no replacement of main residence
Example 43: Joint buyers, one a first-time buyer, no replacement of main residence
Example 44: Joint buyers, each have a main residence, only one main residence being replaced
Example 45: Joint buyers, one of which is a company