New legislation in Perth and Kinross will have a huge impact on owners of disused properties. To help tackle Scotland’s housing shortage the council tax payable on unoccupied dwellings will change as of first of 1st April 2015. Perth and Kinross Council will be using discretionary powers from new regulations passed in 2013 to withdraw any council tax discount for long term unoccupied dwellings.
From 1st April 2015, if cottages or houses have been empty for more than a year they will be liable for 130% of standard charge council tax. This will rise to 150% from 1st April 2016 and rise to 200% 2017.
Local builder, Malcolm Thomson from THCL (Thomson Home Construction Ltd) commented “due to the rural nature of the Kinross-shire area, there are lots of empty cottages and farm buildings. We have had a few enquiries from farmers and rural property owners who are looking to beat the council tax increase by investing in and renovating properties that are currently unused. There is also the obvious additional benefit that the properties will not only have increased in value but the additional revenue opportunity by renting them out.”
“With more and more people wanting to live in the countryside, there is a real shortage of rural property let within the Perth and Kinross-shire area. Local farmers are starting to realise with a little bit of investment in unoccupied cottages and houses there is a real opportunity.”
THCL have a huge amount of experience in renovating traditional properties and are well known locally for their standard of work, particularly on property renovations. This was recognised last year when they were awarded membership to the Guild of Master Craftsmen. The Guild’s stringent entry criteria ensures that only companies who meet the strict entry requirments are awarded memebership. Membership was granted by The Guild’s Council of Management as recognition of their commitment to work with skill and integrity.
Recent renovation projects have included the renovation and extension work at Victorian country house Arnot Tower. Clients Mr & Mrs Laing commented “Renovating and adding to an old property is a big responsibility so we very much went on recommendation for our builder. We appointed Malcolm Thomson of THCL (Thomson Homes Construction Ltd), a local Kinross-shire builder who had lots of experience in renovation projects. He spent a lot of time discussing the project with us finding out exactly what we wanted the finished results to be and letting us know how his team would work to achieve the results we wanted. We were particularly nervous about the family room looking like an add-on to the house, it was important to us that the stonework was in keeping with the existing building, however we needn’t have worried, Malcolm guided us through each stage of the renovation work and his team of joiners and stone mason were all such craftsmen and did an amazing job – we’re thrilled with the results.”
With the new rigorous mortgage application process there are increasing numbers of families looking to rent properties rather than buy. Living in the countryside has never been more appealing and the demand for rural properties is high. The majority of renovation projects don’t need to go through the planning application process; they just require a building warrant. However THCL can talk you through the process from start to finish.
The new legislation on council tax will also apply to commercial properties. Thomson Projects, the commercial build arm of THCL, manage the refurbishment and build of commercial properties.
THCL also have considerable experience in one off new build houses are were recently shortlisted for the Scottish Home Awards 2014