Useful information

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Stamp Duty is a Government levy paid by the purchaser assessed on the value of a property being sold. The following rates apply from 4th December 2014

  • 0% for properties sold for up to £125,000
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000 
  • 5% on the portion up to £925,000
  • 10% on the portion up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on the portion above that amount

This is a change from the way in which SDLT has previously been paid as the duty is now calculated on a sliding scale rather than on the total price within a certain band.

Government say that this change to the system will reduce the duty payable for 98% of UK property transactions.

Calculate the duty payable here:


What do Rates pay for?

Rates fund public services in Northern Ireland, both regional and local. Your rate bill is made up of two parts, the regional rate and the district rate.

Regional rate

The regional rate is set annually by the Northern Ireland Executive and is applied to each district council area in Northern Ireland. This pays for such services as:

  • education
  • housing
  • health
  • roads
  • emergency services
  • water and sewerage

Although a contribution is made by all ratepayers towards public services, there is no specific proportion that can be linked to the availability or usage of any particular public service.

The Executive has agreed that no specific or separate water or sewerage bills will be issued at the present time.

District rate

The district rate is set annually by each of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland, and is used to fund services such as:

  • building control
  • tourism
  • leisure facilities
  • community centres
  • environmental health
  • arts, events and recreation

You can get more information about your district rate and what it pays for in your local area by contacting your council.

How are Rates calculated?

Rateable capital value

This is calculated by taking the capital value of your property (in general, the assessment of your property’s value on the open market on 1st January 2005) and applying any reliefs.

There is a maximum capital value of £400,000. For any house valued at more than this the additional value is disregarded when calculating the rates.

Domestic regional rate

This is the number of pence in each pound of the value of your property that you will pay to the NI Executive for regional services.

Domestic district rate

This is the number of pence in each pound of the value of your property that you will pay in rates to your District Council for local services.

Rates payable

This is the amount you have to pay (after exemptions, allowances and reliefs have been applied).

Reliefs and exemptions

There is a range of reliefs and exemptions available for domestic ratepayers. Many of these are included within the Help with paying your rates section of your ‘Guide to Rates’ booklet or online at

Conversion Formulas

  • Square feet to square yards multiply by 0.11111
  • Square yards to square feet multiply by 9.0
  • 1 acre = 43,560 square feet
  • 1 acre = 4,840 square yards

Useful addresses and numbers

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland   96 Victoria Street Belfast BT1 3GN • (028) 9023 1614
  • National Association of Estate Agents   Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive , Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6Lg • 0844 387 0555
  • Power NI   08457 455 455
  • Phoenix Gas   197 Airport Road West Belfast, BT3 9ED • 0845 900 5253
  • Airtricity   2nd Floor 83-85 Great Victoria Street Belfast BT2 7AF • 0845 601 9093
  • Virgin Media   0845 840 7777
  • BskyB   08442 411 268