We travel all over the UK every month seeing lots of lovely people, listening to their unique stories and helping families get back together when Mum, Dad (or both) decide that it’s time to live at the bottom of the garden in an annexe and enjoy being part of the family again.
It would seem that the UK is one of the few countries in the world, that sees this as some kind of new concept?
Multi-generation living is popular all over the world.
Considering we started this blog back in 2011 when open plan living was a relatively new concept, it’s safe to say that once the UK adopts the idea of something, we tend to love it!
We consider ourselves extremely lucky to be doing what we do, meeting all you lovely people and providing solutions that are usually a win / win for everyone concerned.
We know annexe living isn’t for everyone, some people come to the Grand Designs Live Shows and are literally horrified at the prospect of living that close to their Mum, Dad or in-laws!
And one of the burning questions we get asked all the time is about granny annexes and Council Tax.
This is the kind of information we get as one of our most frequently asked questions, but getting those finances straight when it comes to annexes is very important.
In 2014 the Government scrapped what it called the “unfair surcharge” on family annexes, which saw two separate council tax bills levied on the same home if it had a ‘granny flat’, ‘granny annexe’ or similar extension.
The two dwellings were treated as separate dwellings, each requiring Council Tax to be paid under the relevant Council Tax Bands.
This was then quickly revised and as long as the annexe is in use by a family member or the main house owner, Council Tax is payable at the reduced rate of 50% of your banding.
An annexe will be exempt (which means you don’t have to pay council tax) if it is separately banded for council tax but forms part of another property and a dependent relative is living in it as their main or only home.
A relative is classed as dependent if they are:
You can find out more about annexes and Council Tax by clicking here or finding out from your Local Council.
How can we be so sure? Well, I’m glad you asked!
You see my own Mother lived “next door” to us for several years in an annexe extension to our home.
As she was 65 at the time, she was classed a dependent relative even though she was at that time as fit as a fiddle.
In the amazing twists and turns of life, she decided to move to a bungalow as she wanted to reduce her driving (the house was a little way out into the countryside) but after a few years she decided to up sticks again and live with my brother and his family in the garden, in an annexe.
Having had experience in both living in an attached annexe as it were and living in an annexe in the garden, I asked her which one she preferred?
She said, “the annexe at the bottom of the garden because she could always find peace and quiet whenever she needed to.”
So there you have a real life example to refer to and a reminder that annexe living can not only provide you and your loved ones with the peace of mind that they are safe, but so many people of that generation never want to be a burden to anyone and retain their independence.
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