Families looking after an elderly relative in a ‘granny flat’ in their own home look set to cut their council tax bills significantly from April. The changes in the rules will see bills discounted by 50%, and will apply to those housing grown-up children in the same way.
There are approximately 24,000 annexes in England alone, both purpose-built and converted garages, and many more in Scotland and Wales.
Because so many annexes are self-contained, historically they were classed as individual properties and homeowners had to pay the full rate on the annexe, and the full bill for their own property to boot. Currently, a typical home with an annexe faces a bill of £2,427 for both properties, but the new tax relief could see that reduced by £500 every year. Many will see it as an end to an unfair double taxation for those trying to support members of their family who want to be independent.
The reduction in rates is an attempt to ease pressure on housing by encouraging families to adapt their homes to help relatives to live independently, but still with them. Many will have to build additional space, which is hoped will also give a much-needed injection into the construction industry.
Many older people are keen to remain independent, but might still need some extra help and a ‘closer eye,’ and with the rising house prices making it more and more difficult to get on the housing market in the first instance, many annexes are also being lived in by adult children, keen to move out of the family home and live their own lives, but unable to afford the initial deposit required.
More details about the council tax reductions for having a granny annexe can be found on the Government’s website. If you are in a position to consider building a granny flat in your own property, consult a specialist firm like http://www.annexespaces.co.uk/.
Several generations of the same family living under the same roof is quite common in some cultures, and looks set to grow in popularity in the UK, with these new tax adjustments. An annexe will usually include at least one bedroom, a separate living area, kitchen space and bathroom, and to be classed as an annexe, will be self-contained with separate access.