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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual

Introduction: Scope of stamp duty land tax on leases: Pre-implementation leases

Only a lease that is expressly granted, or is treated as having been granted, for the first time on or after 1 December 2003 can be chargeable to stamp duty land tax (SDLT).

Transactions which are treated as grants of a new lease for SDLT purposes include:

* renewals
* extensions and
* certain variations (see [SDLTM19030](, and
* variations of pre-SDLT leases within the first five years of the term (treated as the grant of a new lease for consideration equal to the increase in rent: see [SDLTM18740](

Where the effective date of these transactions is on or after 1 December 2003, they are subject to the SDLT provisions. See SDLTM17645 for further details.

A lease will not be subject to SDLT if it was granted before 1 December 2003 but continues after that date because it:

* continues by operation of law e.g. by tacit relocation
* is a lease which continues after the expiration of the fixed term (e.g. short assured tenancies).

Where parties have occupied premises prior to 1 December 2003, and the terms of the lease are reduced to writing after 1 December 2003, in practice HMRC will accept that the lease is subject to stamp duty even though no written contract was in existence prior to 1 December 2003.