The recent tribunal case of Mrs Bradley v HMRC was regarding principal private residence relief, and in particular whether the appellant had ever ‘resided’ in the property in question.
Mrs Bradley had moved into a property which she had previously rented out after separating from her husband. After living in the property for less than a year the property was then sold and Mrs Bradley reconciled with her husband.
Prior to Mrs Bradley moving in to the property it was put on the market for sale and remained so when she moved in. The tribunal were happy that the couple had intended to permanently separate but questioned whether she ‘resided’ there.
In line with Goodwin v Curtis the tribunal stated that in order to qualify for principal private residence relief a taxpayer must provide evidence that their occupation shows some degree of permanence, some degree of continuity or some expectation of continuity.
On the basis that the property was for sale throughout, the tribunal concluded that the residence was not intended to be permanent; had Mrs Bradley received a suitable offer for the property she would have sold sooner. The property could only ever have been a temporary home in those circumstances, and therefore it was never her residence.
The claim for principal private residence relief was denied.