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    • IMcN
    • By IMcN 20th Apr 17, 10:52 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Holiday Let and Council Tax
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:52 AM
    Holiday Let and Council Tax 20th Apr 17 at 10:52 AM
    Hello, hoping someone can help. Question is simple but seems the VOA and local council cannot give me a definitive answer. We have an annex - basically a converted garage separate from our house It is split into a main room and a shower room (toilet, shower, sink). We have never paid council tax for this as it does not have any "food preparation" facilites.
    So we are thinking about letting out for holidays and wanted to understand what would consitute food prep for council tax - this obviously will have a big impact on what we provide and how much we charge. The chap at VOA felt a small fridge would be ok and a kettle but not a microwave which seems logical. He then back tracked and actually said "but then again you can prepare food with a kettle." He obviously didn't know the answer and that's fine - I asked him to ask his boss and let me know - he followed up by sending me a leaflet but it doesn't answer my question.
    So, does anyone know how far I can go equipping the annex food prep wise before I am at risk of crossing the line - obviously I'm trying not to incur a separate bill and stick to the law - just frustrating the VOA and local council cannot tell me where the line is.
    Last edited by IMcN; 20-04-2017 at 10:54 AM.
Page 1
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 20th Apr 17, 11:28 AM
    • 4,360 Posts
    • 4,022 Thanks
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:28 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:28 AM
    I suspect the critical thing will be how visitors use it and how you advertise/describe it.

    For example...

    1. Bedroom with en-suite in an annex with separate entrance, with tea and coffee making facilities


    2. Self-contained studio

    If you use description 1, you could probably even have a microwave for warming milk / baby milk.

    But if somebody explicitly asked you if food can be prepared in the room, you would have to say "no".
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    • 10,274 Posts
    • 12,154 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    I am wondering if it might help to have a look at the planning permission given for altering the garage? Or was none needed?

    If you did apply for planning permission then it might have clauses which restrict the usage of the garage for letting purposes and this would then scupper your chances of letting it out.

    No one here will be able to help you because it is the VOA who will have the final decision.
    • eggha
    • By eggha 20th Apr 17, 12:08 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:08 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:08 PM
    it is the VOA who are responsible for all banding decisions regarding council tax, only they can "help" you. The local council cannot decide if it is or is not subject to council tax nor should they even try to advise you on such a matter.

    There is only one known person on these boards who has any real knowledge of such issues as he ("Lincroft" ) is a retired VOA inspector, but even then he may not have dealt personally with such issues. No one else who has posted on these boards has ever hinted at having such a problem as defining food preparation - the common question regarding self contained annexes has often mentioned that the VOA guidance states the need to succeed in delisting an annex as a self contained property is to remove plumbing etc, not just remove a cooker
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 20th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    • 9,064 Posts
    • 6,891 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    CT law on "food preparation" does not go into detail, but provision of food preparation facilities IMHO may not be relevant.

    If you are creating a "holiday let", then this part may be subject to non-domestic or business rates. If it is let as a stand alone unit, i.e. the tenant does not have use of any part of the main house, then the rules for separate CT band will not apply so it does not matter if it does not have food preparation facilities.

    If your intention is to let the unit for less than 140 days in any 12 month period, then it would appear that the unit would not be subject to business rates. In this case, unless you are providing meals or allowing occupiers of the unit access to the main house kitchen, it falls to be a separate CT band as it is clearly a separate occupation. There is a precedence for this which I will research.

    Please bear in mind that because of the imprecise nature of the legislation and possible misinterpretation or misunderstanding, your VOA may disagree with the above.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 20-04-2017 at 2:32 PM.
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