A person leaves the UK to go and work abroad in full time employment. He lets out his UK home whilst abroad. He occupies a property abroad under a tenancy agreeement. Upon his return to the UK a few years later he chucks his tenant out and moves back in.
He is hoping that the period abroad will be a qualifying period for PRR because, both before and after, it was his residence. However, as he was living in rented property whilst abroad (under a formmal tenancy agreement), this (rented) property would strictly also qualify for relief as his dwelling, and so this precludes his (UK owned) property from benefitting from deemd-PRR during his period abroad. It is suggested (in the HMRC manuals) that, to overcome this, an election under S222(5) be made in favour of his UK property when he first goes to work abroad, such that the overseas rented property no longer qualifies for relief and so does not scupper his plans for CGT relief on the UK property.
My question is this: in order for a S222(5) election to be valid, surely it is necessary for both properties to actually 'be used' as a home at the same time (i.e. one during the week, the other at weekends). In which case, how can it apply in a situation where a person has, as a matter of fact, left his UK property to work abroad (without returning during that period), and even let his UK property out (so it would not be available to him even if he did return to see family, etc.)?