VAT cut would encourage home improvements

A coalition of organisations from within the property and construction sector are campaigning for the next Government to cut VAT on maintenance and home developments in a bid to improve the UK’s housing stock.

The group, which includes organisations such as the Federation of Master Builders, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Country Land and Business Association and the Countryside Alliance have signed a letter to leaders of the political parties urging them to reduce VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent on home improvement works.

According to the British Property Federation, reducing the rate of VAT on all repairs, maintenance and management of residential property would support the improvement of the UK’s housing stock, and help the build-to–rent (BTR) sector deliver more homes.

The Federation of Master Builders believe that the new Government must promote and incentivise energy efficiency works, which means that the rate of VAT on repair and maintenance work needs to be reduced to 5 per cent.

The signatories of the letter underline that such a move would unleash investment in housing, stimulate the economy and enable the UK’s transition to net zero carbon. It would also improve the green standards of older homes and those in rural areas.

As the letter points out, the BTR sector has grown from fewer than 30,000 homes to 148,000 homes in the last five years and delivered a quarter of London’s housing output last year. It argues that by reducing the irrecoverable VAT associated with maintenance and management of BTR, the sector can deliver even more.