Listed building owners urged to get houses in order
Owners of listed buildings are being urged to get their house, or building in order before October 1 deadline.
The call comes from building surveyor, Andrew Downton, of Balfours Property Professionals who has condemned new vat regulation, which means approved alterations to listed buildings will attract 20 per cent vat, as a result of George Osborne’s budget. This is a big hit for the nation’s buildings heritage.
Mr Downton explains: “Currently it is only maintenance and repairs that are subject to twenty per cent vat, while approved alterations to protected buildings are zero-rated. Listed buildings are notoriously expensive, particularly as alterations must be approved. This is a major blow for owners of listed buildings and indeed a bit hit for our nation’s heritage.”
He says that the best advice, at this point, is to maximise the window of opportunity – between now and October 1: “It is a short time frame but attainable with professional guidance; anyone seeking to undertake alterations, such as creating an extension, installing additional bathrooms or green energy, should set things in motion immediately.
Mr Downton continues: ““The process of applying for listed building consent and the practicalities of undertaking the work mean swift action is necessary if works are going to be successfully cleared before the deadline.
“With the VAT rate at 20% there is a considerable saving to be made by working with the listed buildings personnel on those projects approved and completed before the autumn deadline. At Balfours we are qualified and have significant experience in ensuring building works are achieved with maximum authenticity and efficiency.”
In addition the chancellor has restricted the circumstances in which the first sale or long lease by a developer of a substantially reconstructed protected building can be zero-rated, so that only buildings reconstructed from a shell continue to benefit from the zero rate. “This is something which developers must now be aware of.”
Building surveyor Andrew Downton, of Balfours Property Professionals