Place of residence: what is not considered to be a place of residence for Scottish taxpayer/close connection purposes?
If an individual moves out of their home completely and makes it available to let commercially
It will not be their place of residence during the period it is let unless they or their family retain a right to live there and exercise that right. This can happen, for example, where the rental agreement permits the individual to use the property or part of the property as living accommodation.
Chris left Scotland to work in England. He lets the flat he previously lived in to a tenant on a 2-year lease. After 18 months he was made redundant and returned to Scotland. The rental agreement on his flat gave exclusive use of the property to the tenant so Chris arranged to stay with relatives and friends until the lease expired. For the period his property was let it is not his place of residence.
However, if the rental agreement had allowed Chris to use the flat and he had stayed there when he visited Scotland it would have remained a place of residence throughout.
A place that has never been capable of functioning as a habitable residence cannot be a place of residence
For example, a property purchased in such a state of disrepair that it is not capable of being lived in, is not a place of residence until such time as it becomes habitable.
Daniel lives in rented accommodation in Glasgow. He bought a derelict house in Aberdeen with the intention of moving in once it had been fully renovated and repaired. He employed builders to undertake the necessary work but only a short time afterwards Daniel’s business folded, requiring him to sell the house in Aberdeen to clear his debts. Since it was never capable of habitation as a home, the property in Aberdeen never constituted a place of residence for Daniel.
If an individual completely moves out of a property and makes no further use of it whatsoever
It will no longer be a place of residence for them.
Harry’s new job requires him to travel extensively around the UK. He spends some time working in Scotland but most of his work is carried out elsewhere in the UK. He decided to sell his Scottish property. On 3 June he put his furniture and belongings in storage and 2 weeks later he handed the keys to his estate agent. He did not return to his Scottish property after 3 June and stayed in hotels or with friends on the occasions when he came back to Scotland. The property is not a place of residence for him from 3 June, the date he put his furniture and belongings in storage.
A property which is used as nothing more than a holiday home, temporary retreat or something similar
Is not a place of residence. So a holiday home where an individual spends time for only occasional short breaks, and which clearly provides a distinct respite from their ordinary day to day life will not be a place of residence. However if there comes a time when an individual’s use of a holiday home or temporary retreat changes so that it is used more frequently and for longer periods of time it will become a place of residence from the time of the change.
Jenny lives in Birmingham and works from home. She also owns a small house on Skye which she rents out apart from 2 to 3 weeks a year when she takes her holiday there. The Skye property is not a place of residence. (See para 29)
A property, vehicle or other ‘home’ that an individual never stays in
Will not be a place of residence for them. For example a property purchased solely as an investment or a property bequeathed to an individual and which they never stay in will not be a place of residence. This point is further reinforced by ‘close connection’ test set out in s.80E Scotland Act 2012 making clear that ‘living’ at a place is necessary to establish a ‘close connection’.
Jamal purchases a house in Aberdeen as an investment. Although the property is furnished it is currently standing empty because he cannot find a suitable tenant. Jamal has never stayed in the property. The Aberdeen house is not a place of residence for him.