Reduce VAT on listed buildings repairs, says RICS
RICS is calling on the government to reduce VAT to 5 per cent on all home repairs, maintenance and improvement work on listed buildings.
From 1 October 2012, VAT on all alteration and restoration work to listed buildings will be introduced at 20 per cent, putting Britain’s 400,000 listed properties under threat.
The move means owners of listed buildings will face spiralling costs just to maintain their property, while investors will be put off restoring empty listed properties
RICS points out that preservation of a listed building involves dedication in time and money due to the more expensive methods and materials involved.
Much of the property industry, including RICS, has spoken out against the move which could mean essential works will no longer be financially viable, leaving Britain’s listed properties to fall into disrepair.
The lack of funds will also impact negatively on specialist repair and maintenance companies operating in the construction sector.
Peter Bolton King, global residential director at RICS, said: “The chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to create a level playing field on all residential works. Reducing the VAT rate to 5 per cent across the board would have helped those who cannot afford vital repairs to their homes.
“In addition, the reduced costs would prompt investment to bring thousands of empty properties back into use.
“Crucially, the construction sector would also be given a necessary boost. Research shows that VAT at 5 per cent on all residential work would create 26,560 jobs in the construction sector with a total economic stimulus of around £1.7 billion in 2012 alone.”
Owners of listed buildings who received Listed Building Consent before 21 March 2012 will be exempt from the imposition of VAT until September 2015.
RICS is part of the ‘Cut the VAT Coalition’, for more information, visit www.cutthevat.co.uk.