Q- I can recall that in the course of the 2018 Budget, changes were announced about the rules for some of the ancillary reliefs on disposals of private residences. I can see no new Legislation on these points. What is the current position please?
A- You will be referring to the proposed reduction of the exemption for the final period of ownership from 18 to 9 months and the restriction of relief for letting to circumstances where the owner of the property is in shared occupancy with the tenant.
The announcement was that the changes would apply from 6th April 2020.
The announcement promised consultation on these changes and technical aspects. To date, there is no consultancy, so the announcement, at best, is a warning shot that there may be some changes.
Looking a little more into the details, HM Treasury’s Budget 2018 publication covers the points
The final period exemption protects those who move into a new home where they are unable to sell the old home immediately. It is claimed that a 9-month period is twice the length of an average property transaction.
It is worth noting that the proposal would not affect those in or moving into care homes and people with a disability where the final period exemption is preserved at 36 months.
The other proposal is in respect of relief for letting property which has also been the main residence in the period of ownership. This is currently capped at £40,000 per person and is available provided the property, which is let, has, at some time in the period of ownership, been the only or main residence.
The proposal is to introduce a shared occupancy condition (which is not currently the case).
The detail and technical aspects will be subject to the consultation and passage of future legislation from draft through to Act.
In the meantime, we cannot be certain but only aware of the likelihood of changes from 6th April 2020