In England and Northern Ireland, you are subject to an additional amount of SDLT of 3% of the purchase price when you purchase a second home. Where you are simply replacing your main home but there is a delay in selling the original home, providing you sell the original home within 3 years, you can claim a refund of the additional 3% SDLT paid.
HMRC have recently updated their guidance to extend the 3-year time limit for selling the original home where the sale could not take place in time due to exceptional circumstances. This is to assist those who have been unable to sell their original homes within the time limit due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. In order to still qualify for the refund outside the 3 year time limit the original home must be sold as soon as reasonably possible and a refund claim must be made which should include an explanation as to why the original home could not be sold within the 3 years. Decisions will be made by HMRC on a case-by-case basis.
In Scotland, the time limit to sell the original home of 18 months has been extended to 3 years where the replacement home was purchased between 24th September 2018 and 24th March 2020.