Basement tax: what’s it all about?
Rising property prices in the capital have recently seen an increase in the number of planning applications for digging basements in multi-million pound properties, not least because homeowners can profit well from the exercise. However, these basement projects are less financially appealing than they used to be, due to the recent introduction of what has been dubbed the “basement tax”.
A quick introduction to the basement tax
Enforced by Westminster City Council since 2 September, the basement tax – which, so far, applies only to properties in the London borough of Westminster – now has to be paid by residents seeking planning permission for basement extensions. While the exact size of that fine is very much the council’s decision and will depend on the project’s scale and likelihood of triggering disruption, the average size of this charge has been cited as £8,000.
The money raised from the basement tax will fund a basement enforcement team, the 15 officials of which will assess whether basement projects keep working hours, noise, and truck delivery numbers to a sufficient minimum. The team will also handle community complaints about neighbours whose construction work is deemed a nuisance.
What the basement tax is aiming to tackle
Robert Davis, deputy leader and cabinet member for the Built Environment at Westminster City Council, has said that the council is “sticking up for local residents, many of whom have found the explosion of basement development in recent years hellish.” He insisted that the council “supports the right kind of growth and is not against all basement development, but they must be carried out in a way that is considerate to local residents and the environment.”
What does all of this mean for you?
If you live in the London borough of Westminster and want to dig out a basement extension in your home, the message is clear enough: you now have an additional charge to keep in mind when planning ahead for that extension. Don’t worry, however, if you have already dug out a basement extension for your Westminster property; this new tax will not affect you.
We could currently say the same for people who live outside the London borough of Westminster and intend to make a basement extension. However, it is thought that, should the basement tax succeed in its aims in Westminster, other London councils could take it up. You should be especially wary if you live in a borough where such extensions are common, like Camden or Kensington and Chelsea.
We can consider this new tax on your behalf
Even before you consider the new basement tax, there can be many different little costs to take into account when calculating how much a construction project should financially set you back. However, here at My Build Estimate, we can take care of all of the necessary little calculations to make things easier for you – and, yes, we can factor in the new basement tax, should it currently apply in your case, when estimating how much a basement extension should cost you.