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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Private residence relief: permitted area: more than one disposal

Each disposal of a piece of land which is the garden and grounds of a residence can attract relief if some or all of that land falls within the permitted area. The permitted area has to be determined separately for each disposal as it may not be the same each time.

If there is only a short interval between one disposal of an area of garden and grounds and the next then it may be that the extent of the permitted area will not alter between the disposals. However if the disposals occur over a period of time, the extent of the permitted area for a particular dwelling house may change for several reasons. For example,

  • There may be a change in the size or character of a dwelling house resulting in an increase or decrease in the permitted area.
  • There has been a trend in the post-war years to smaller gardens because of the cost and inconvenience of maintaining a large garden; the amount of land required when a house was built may be too large today.
  • Houses in urban areas generally have smaller grounds than houses in rural areas. Urbanisation may leave a house with anomalously large grounds for its location.

If parts of the garden and grounds are disposed of in a series of disposals the permitted area has to be determined at the date of each disposal. The whole of the required permitted area is available on each disposal. In other words, the permitted area available on the second disposal is not reduced by the area of land relieved in the first disposal. This means that relief may be obtained in total for an area in excess of what would have been allowed as the permitted area had the land been disposed of in a single transaction.