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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual

Miscellaneous provisions: Tenant taking entry before missives have been concluded or formal lease granted

Tenants sometimes take entry before missives have been concluded or a formal lease has been granted.

An oral lease in Scotland is treated as a lease for a year. It follows that an SDLT return would only be required if rent resulted in an NPV which was more than the nil rate band.

If missives are concluded or an agreement for lease entered into, the missives or agreement for lease are substantially performed right away as the tenant is already in occupation. This is treated as the grant of a notional lease for the period set out in the agreement.

In practice the formal lease, once granted, would be backdated to the date the tenant actually took entry.