The number of ‘granny flats’ being built is seeing unprecedented growth, thanks in no small part to a tax break afforded to homeowners for having one. Of course, there is surely a desire to help out a loved one and keep them close, too.
In the region of 10,000 new annexes were build in the last three years, with upwards of 30,000 listed in England and Wales. So how big is the incentive?
Since 2014, annexes have been classified differently for the purposes of council tax and now receive a 50 per cent reduction in their bill.
Not Just for Grannies
Although “Granny Annexe” is the widely accepted term, these homes are increasingly used to house grown-up children who are saving to get themselves on the housing ladder, as well as for elderly relatives. House prices continue to rise, making it more difficult to get a first foot on the ladder, and at the same time, rising costs for residential care are meaning that for many families putting up elderly relatives in their own home is the only viable option.
The current boom is not just for those concerned about the financial implications. A very real rumour, which was ultimately denied, was that the Duchess of Cambridge was planning a granny flat for her own mother, Carole Middleton, at Kensington Palace so that she could be more readily available to help out. For many working women, having some extra help in the form of childcare, and of course the relationship with grandparents, is priceless.
Readers’ Digest gives some examples of grandparents taking the leap and moving to a ‘granny annex’ at the bottom of the garden.
If you’re keen to learn more and explore options to suit your family, get in touch with companies like Annexe Spaces (http://www.annexespaces.co.uk/) and your local authority to see what might be allowed at your property.
The difference in tax comes from the reclassification of the properties: prior to April 2014, annexes that were attached to a ‘main’ house were considered to be an independent home if they had their own kitchen and bathroom and were taxed accordingly.
It costs upwards of £20,000 to build an annexe – less if you convert an existing garage. Done well, an integral annexe can easily be reabsorbed into the main home when no longer required as a functioning annexe.