Hello and welcome to the site. Thank you for your question.Lets see if I have got all the facts...Flat bought in Purley in May 2014. Being used as personal accommodation during week days. Wish to use the flat as main residence for say 6 months to avail final 18 months additional allowance at the time of sale on the grounds the property was main residence during period of ownership.You can only use one property as main residence at any one time ( this applies to married couples too). The fact that you are paying reduced council tax on the grounds of single occupancy does not help.The onus will be on you to demonstrate that the property was used as main residence and that you intended to make the property your main residence for the family when you first moved in, even if subsequent circumstances made you change your mind later.There is no set minimum period of occupation in order for PPR (principal private residence) to apply. What matters is your intention, you should make it obvious that the property is your main residence by letting your bank, tax office, employer, insurance company, DVLA and other relevant persons know of your change of address. You should also register with local doctors in the area. This would all help as there will be little argument in time to come.Bear in mind, the last 18 months rule applies to all properties that you have lived in as main residence. So you could avail additional 18 months on both properties over time.
I hope this is helpful and answers your question.
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There is nothing illegal about flipping, i.e. change your principal residence.
Thank you; very helpful. Just before I grade you as top grade a quick raincheck.
From what you say I would be wise to make all/most of those changes (Bank, Driving License, car insurance, employer - some of which I have already done at least for me if not wife) etc... ASAP including getting my wife added to the Council Tax bill for Purley and 'flip' for say 6 months immediately thereafter so that if I sell at year 10 point, we would receive 2 years (6 months actual plus 18 months allowance). And of course keep some of that paperwork in case of enquiry, in 10 years time. I probably won't get every little thing changed but as long as I have a goodly number then it helps the case. That way 2/10 of capital gain would be exempt I believe (and of course we have our annual CGT allowance to use too).
No issue with Taunton property as it will be main residence for 20 years plus so losing 6 months protection not an issue really given wife and I will have annual CGT allowance to use.
I take it that I simply write to Inland Revenue letting them know I have made an election regarding Main Residence (PPRR) declaration from a said date, and likewise after 6 months let them know I have changed back again?
If you are happy and there are no more issues I will appreciate if you would kindly rate/accept the service I provided to ensure I get credited for it.