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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Private residence relief: good reasons for exceptional delay in taking up residence

If the 12 month period is exceeded an extension may be authorised by the Business Unit Head or the Grade 6 Compliance Team Leader if there were good reasons for exceptional delay. No extension should be allowed beyond 24 months from acquisition.

What constitutes a good reason for exceptional delay is a matter for the discretion of the Business Unit Head or the Grade 6 Compliance Team Leader. Normally, it would be expected that the delay would be caused by circumstances outside the individual’s control.

If the period of 12 months or the longer period allowed is exceeded, no extension to the period of residence can be authorised under ESC/D49.


An individual bought a dwelling house in a dilapidated condition in January 2011. Refurbishment was begun immediately but, due to lack of funds, was not completed until May 2014, when the dwelling house was occupied as the individual’s only or main residence. You should not allow any extension of the period of residence because the circumstances do not fall within ESC/D49. Relief is only available from May 2014 onwards.