Government questioned on seriousness over housing crisis

Government questioned on seriousness over housing crisis

Central Government must prevent local authorities from hindering SME developers with unfair Council Tax burdens, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned ahead of the Budget Statement.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “If the Government is serious about solving the housing crisis, it must address the issue of unfair Council Tax charges on house builders. Today we are calling on the Government to halt the poor practice of local authorities charging Council Tax on incomplete new homes. Reports from FMB members suggest it has become relatively commonplace for new homes to be deemed complete for the purposes of Council Tax long before they are actually inhabitable.

This is sometimes the case before even basic work has been completed, such as the walls have been plastered or the floors have been concreted.”

Berry continued: “Council Tax is designed to fund services provided to tenants, so there is little justification for levying it on new homes months before anyone could move in. There is a growing concern that Council Tax is being unfairly levied as just another development tax. We accept that there is a case for Council Tax being levied on existing empty properties in order to incentivise these being brought back into use. However, for new homes, it creates perverse incentives for developers to hold back completing these properties until they’ve agreed sales and slows down the delivery of completed new homes onto the market.”


Berry concluded: “What is urgently needed is an agreed definition of when a new home is complete for the purposes of charging Council Tax, and one which ties this point much more closely to the point of inhabitability. This will help ensure against current poor practice in some areas and will also serve to speed up the delivery of new homes. For this reason, we’re also urging Government to review whether the removal of the automatic six month exemption for ‘unoccupied and substantially unfurnished’ dwellings should have been applied to new dwellings, as we fear this is having the unintended effect of further slowing down house building."

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Latest Comments

SecomTech
SecomTech 22 Jun 2017

AT Last...This was discussed years ago and there was a move towards landlords registering their bad tenants on a database..(can't remember where) It seems a logical step though our leaders will probably...

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Bertrand
Bertrand 02 Jun 2017

How about the Welsh Govt introducing a scheme to protect landlords against "rogue" tenants who are then taken to court for criminal damage to the properties they trash. Pretty unlikely I suspect and politically...

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AmberMorris
AmberMorris 25 May 2017

"Please don't pick a novelty tune-playing doorbell. They're not 'fun'. They're stupid." Laughed a lot to this. It's actually true, though.

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Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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