I bought my London flat back in 1984 and lived there until 1993 when moved out and have rented the flat out - and have done so ever since. I've aIways declared the rental income (in recent years via a letting agency). But - I plan to retire in 2022 - and sell the flat. I understand that it needs to be my main residence for 2 of the years preceding the sale. I currently live in Scotland. The current tenant moves out in a few weeks - the letting agent says I only need to nominate the london flat as my main residence and have a utility bill or council tax in my name for the final two years - and can still rent out the property through them, that I don't have to physically live in it to, avoid being liable to CGT on sale. Does this advice sound reasonable? What sort of checks does HMRC undertake on sale of a property. Do I need to officially tell HMRC at the point I elect the Lonond place as my main residence? Is the letting agent's advice unreliable? If necessary, I can just stop renting the place out and make it my main reside, foregoing the the rental income for two years (about 30K in total, gross) although I could only physically stay in the flat on the ocacssional night (my office is in London) or weekends. Will it matter that I will physically spend most of my time in Scotland, in what will then be my second home until after the London sale, at which point it will revert to being my man residence. I don't want to break any laws but at the same time I don't wanbt to hand over tons of money in CGT is itfcan be legally avoided.
Sorry, I know there's a lot in there-any advice?