Holdover for letting business

I have a couple of clients who run property partnership business. These are run commercially with accounts, payroll and with a view to profit etc.

They are both coincidentally looking to incorporate for completely separate commercial reasons. One outcome of incorporation is the possibility of claiming some sort of holdover relief, namely for example s162.

However, in the first instance, gut reaction is that, a letting business is not a trade and therefore will not qualify. However, on deeper review of legislation, it is clear that firstly, s162 has a wider definition to encapsulate the term 'business' as opposed to trade, and secondly there is no definition of 'business' in the legislation.

The Revenue manuals state that they themselves have not defined 'business' but that in practice it would have its normal definition, whatever that is.

I am wondering whether anyone has been successful in agreeing a holdover claim for a rental business run as a substantial partnership, i.e. more than just husband and wife, in treating it as a business for the purposes of s162. On the other hand I would like a definitive reason why it would not be available.

Any help would be most useful.

Regards

Matthew Manderson