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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Private residence relief: only or main residence: two or more residences: time limit for nominating

TCGA92/222 (5) sets out that a notice nominating which of two or more residences is to be treated as the main residence must be given within two years from the date on which the individual has a particular combination of residences. Each time there is a change in the individual’s combination of residences a new period begins and there is a new opportunity to make a nomination. This interpretation of the legislation was confirmed in the case of Griffin v Craig Harvey, which was decided by the High Court on 24 November 1993.

Where a dwelling house is acquired, the date on which there is a new combination of residences will not necessarily be the date of acquisition, it will be the date on which the dwelling house was first used as a residence. Similarly, where an individual ceases to use a dwelling house as a residence, the date on which there is a new combination of residences will be the date on which the dwelling house is no longer used as a residence, it will not necessarily be the date on which that dwelling house is disposed of.

Example:

An individual has a single residence until 1 April 2008. On that date she acquired a dwelling house and immediately began to use it as a second residence. She has until 31 March 2010 to nominate which of these residences is to be treated as her main residence.

On 23 November 2008 she acquired another dwelling house and began to use it as a third residence on 1 June 2009. A new period for nominating begins on 1 June 2009 giving her until 31 May 2011 to nominate which of her three residences is to be treated as her main residence.

On 30 September 2009 she ceased to use one of her dwelling houses as a residence and subsequently disposed of it on 30 November 2009. A new period for nominating therefore begins on 30 September 2009; she has until 31 August 2011 to nominate which of her two remaining residences is to be treated as the main residence.