Council tax changes to increase housing supply
The government is considering scrapping extra council tax on granny annexes to help increase the supply of family homes.
In an announcement made last week, communities secretary Eric Pickles said ministers were planning to support people who wanted to have a live-in annexe for immediate relatives, such as teenagers or elderly grandparents.
The reforms, which are expected to need legislation, form part of the government’s plan to increase the number of family homes.
Some discounts for the elderly living in annexes already exist. However, when part of a house has been adapted as a granny annexe, it continues to be counted separately for council tax, even if it is not occupied.
The government also said it would see how planning red tape could be removed to support the conversion of existing outbuildings, such as garages, into family annexes. At the moment, planning permission is required and many councils have a policy of refusing such permissions.
Mr Pickles said: ‘It seems fundamentally unfair that hardworking families who want to extend their homes to allow their relatives to live in are hit twice by the taxman.
‘We should support homeowners who want to improve their properties and standard of living.
‘These reforms should also play a role in increasing the housing supply.’