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Readers' forum : Put asunder

07 June 2016
Issue: 4553 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

No main residence election made on a married couple’s two properties.

My husband and wife clients have owned two properties jointly since they married in 1996. They have never made a main residence election. Until he retired recently the husband undoubtedly spent more time in the London flat – as a question of fact it was his main residence. The wife has always spent more time in the house in Sussex – the London flat has never been her main residence.

I know that a married couple can have only one exempt main residence; but given that they have not made any election what is the status of their gains if they sell either property? Is it possible that they would have to choose one that would be exempt leaving the other fully taxable? If so would the ‘non-resident’ spouse not be able to enjoy capital gains tax exemption on their share of the gain on...

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