Private residence relief: only or main residence: meaning of residence: judicial interpretation
The scheme of private residence relief was summarised by Brightman J in Sansom v Peay (52TC1) as,
“To exempt from liability to Capital Gains Tax the proceeds of sale of a person’s home.”
Here Brightman J uses the word ‘home’ in substitution for the word ‘residence’.
And in Frost v Feltham (55TC10), where the Court was asked to decide which of an individual’s residences was his main residence, Nourse J stated,
A residence is a place where somebody lives.”
These quotations clearly emphasise the point that the test of residence is one of quality rather then quantity: the dwelling house must have become the owner’s home. There is no minimum period of occupation that would enable an individual to establish a residence. This was confirmed by Millet J in Moore v Thompson (61TC15) where he stated,
“It is clear that the Commissioners were alive to the fact that even occasional and short residence in a place can make that a residence; but the question was one of fact and degree for the Commissioners.”
Every case must be decided upon its own particular facts.