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Registers of Scotland Registration Fees and Land and Building Transaction Tax

When you buy a property, you may need to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax fees to the Revenue Scotland. You will also have to pay charges to register or record your ownership of the property, and to register or record the standard security.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

When you buy a property, depending on its price, you may have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. This will normally be paid this to your solicitor, who then passes it on to Revenue Scotland on your behalf. You'll have to give your solicitor money to cover the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax before you get the keys to your house. It's important to realise that your solicitor will not be able to officially register your ownership of your new house until you pay the tax.

How much is Land and Buildings Transaction Tax?

How much Land and Buildings Transaction Tax you pay depends on the price of the home.

You only need pay Land and Building Transaction Tax on the cost of the property itself. The cost of any moveable property (fixtures and fittings) should not be included.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax will only apply to the part of the property price that falls with that band:

  • no tax is payable on the first £145,000 of the property price
    • if you're a first time buyer, then you'll pay no tax on the first £175,000 of the property price
  • 2% on the portion of the property price up to £250,000
  • 5% on the portion of the property price up to £325,000
  • 10% on the portion of the property price up to £750,000
  • 12% on the portion of the property price over £750,000.

Revenue Scotland have more information on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

Stamp duty land tax (for house sales before 1 April 2015)

Stamp duty land tax from 4 December 2014 to 31 March 2015 only applied to the part of the property price that fell within that band:

  • no tax is payable on the first £125,000 of the property price
  • 2% on the portion of the property price up to £250,000
  • 5% on the portion of the property price up to £925,000
  • 10% on the portion of the property price up to £1.5 million
  • and then 12% on everything over £1.5 million.  

Before 4 December 2014 stamp duty land tax was charged as a single percentage of the property price:

  • 0% on properties sold for less than £125,000 
  • 1% on properties sold for between £125,001 and £250,000 
  • 3% on properties sold for between £250,001 and £500,000 
  • 4% on properties sold for between £500,001 and £1 million 
  • 5% on properties sold for between £1 million and £2 million
  • 7% on properties sold for £2 million or more.

Registration/recording fees

You will also have to pay a charge:

  • when your solicitor registers your ownership of the property in either the Land Register of Scotland or records it in the Register of Sasines.
  • when your solicitor registers the standard security for your mortgage loan
  • to register any subsequent standard securities over your home (for example, if you decide to take out a second or subsequent mortgage on your home in the future - see 'registering/recording a standard security' below).

These charges will depend on how much you are paying for your house (or, if you're taking out a second mortgage, how much it's for). If you're still not sure, your solicitor will be able to tell you how much this will cost or you can contact the Registers of Scotland for more information.

You'll have to give your solicitor money to cover all the registration costs before you get the keys to your house. When you get your keys, your solicitor will then pay the costs on your behalf. It's important to realise that your solicitor won't be able to register your ownership of the property until you've paid all the charges in full.

Registering/recording ownership

In order to officially record or register your ownership of a property, the title deeds in your name will have to be either registered in the Land Register of Scotland or recorded in the Register of Sasines. Both the Land Register of Scotland and the Register of Sasines are official records of who owns property in Scotland. Both of them are kept up-to-date by the Registers of Scotland in Edinburgh.

It's important to realise that, until the title deeds in your name are registered or recorded, you are not officially the legal owner of the house. Your solicitor has a duty to register or record your deeds as soon as possible after you get the keys to your house. However, they cannot do this until you have paid all stamp duty and registration charges in full so it's important to pay everything when you are asked to although you can ask for a written breakdown of costs and a receipt if you want.

You will have to pay to register your ownership of the house. The cost of this depends on how much you are paying for the property. The more you are paying for your house, the more it will cost to register/record your ownership. The charges go up on a sliding scale. Visit the Registers of Scotland to find out how much this will cost.

Registering/recording a standard security

If you have a mortgage, your solicitor also needs to record or register the standard security. A standard security is the legal name for the lender's mortgage deed, which gives them the right to repossess the property if you default on your mortgage. The effect of the standard security should have been explained to you before you signed it because it's a very important legal document.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're in England

The important points

  • How much Land and Building Transaction Tax you pay depends on the price of the home.
  • Normally you'll have to give your solicitor money to cover the Land and Building Transaction Tax before you get the keys to your house.
  • Land and Building Transaction Tax is payable on all house sales from 1 April 2015
  • In order to officially record or register your ownership of a property, the title deeds will have to be either registered in the Land Register of Scotland or recorded in the Register of Sasines.

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