We are often asked by our clients if we can assist them if they have a Lifetime Individual Savings Account ( a ‘LISA’) and whether they can use the funds held in a LISA for purchasing a property. The answer to whether we can assist is ‘yes’ but the answer to whether the funds can be used in a purchase transaction depend on a number of factors.
As a bit of background information, a LISA can be opened by anyone who is between 18 and 39 years of age. A person can contribute up to £4,000 a year into the LISA, until the person is 50 years of age. The government will add a 25% bonus (up to a maximum of £1,000 per year) to those savings. You can have stocks, shares, or cash in a LISA.
The funds held in a LISA can be withdrawn at anytime, however, the funds can only be withdrawn without incurring a 25% penalty in certain circumstances. These circumstances include a first time residential purchase where some additional conditions are met.
For a first time residential purchase, the funds in a LISA can be used without deduction where the funds are being put towards the purchase price, the purchase price of the property is no more than £450,000.00, the amount withdrawn is no greater than the purchase price of the property, you will live in the property as your primary residence, and the property is purchased with a mortgage (not a buy to let mortgage), and the first payment into the Lifetime ISA was made at least 12 months ago.
There are additional forms and declarations that need to be completed, both by you and by your solicitor, so it is wise to advise your solicitor that you have a LISA and intend to use the funds early in your transaction.
Please contact us if you require any further information regarding the above at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitney Jacque, Solicitor