A private residence relief (PRR/PPR) case was recently heard by the first-tier tax tribunal. The appellant, Mr Regan bought a house at the back of a club which was owned by a family company which he managed. The entertainment manager of the club also lived at the house.
In Christmas 1996, Mr Regan moved out of the property temporarily so that the entertainment manager’s wife’s family could stay.
At this time, Mr Regan and his new girlfriend (who later became his wife) spent most of their time at her flat. Despite this, most of his belongings had remained at the house behind the club, which he also continued to use as his main postal address.
In 1998, Mr Regan and his girlfriend purchased a new house together and his parents purchased the house behind the club from him in 2000.
HMRC argued that private residence relief (PRR) was not available as Mr Regan had not been able to demonstrate sufficient permanence in his occupation of the property. The tribunal found in favour of Mr Regan, stating that his occupation of his girlfriend’s flat did not have the required “settled quality” to detract from his occupation of the house. As he had moved out within 36 months of the sale of the property to his parents, relief was available.