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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual

Scope: when is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) chargeable: higher rate charge for acquisitions of residential property by certain non-natural persons FA03/S55/SCH4A: meaning of ‘significant part of the interior’

It is not necessary for the entire dwelling to be exploited in the trade and, for these purposes, ‘significant’ is determined by reference to the size of the area made available to the public (relative to the size of the dwelling), and its nature and function. Although only a minority of the rooms or area of a dwelling may be used in the trade, if these are sufficiently important in the context of a particular dwelling they will comprise a ‘significant part’ of the interior.

For example, a stately home may contain many rooms. If the main state rooms are opened to the public it will be likely that this will comprise a ‘significant part of the interior’ despite comprising less than half the total floor area and number of rooms. In terms of nature and function, these rooms are likely to form a ‘significant’ part of the interior.

Where the gardens to the house are open to the public, who are allowed access to a small or unimportant part of the interior (for example, to access toilets) this will not be sufficient to relieve the dwelling from charge.