The Listed Property Owners Club has been running a campaign during 2018 to reduce VAT on repairs and approved alterations to listed buildings down from 20% to 5%. Over 11,000 signatures were received which has meant the government has had to make a formal response – 100,000 signatures are required to oblige the government to debate the issue. The deadline to achieve the debate threshold runs until January 2nd 2019. Today the government made is formal response, and rejected the proposal. Their full response can be found here. This is very disappointing as the continued financial pressure felt by many of my Clients to maintain their listed properties to an livable and appropriate standard is sometimes felt as a burden they are deemed to bear on behalf of the nation’s collective heritage. Through many years of experience of different types of heritage properties my advice to owners of listed properties to minimise the financial cost to them of maintaining their property is to undertake regular maintenance. This advice is advocated by Historic England (click here) and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). Some repair works can be agreed with the relevant local authority as not requiring listed building consent, however the works must be limited in volume, in the materials to be used, and agreed in principal. If you do plan maintenance work your property do get in touch with your local heritage architect or specialist for guidance on whether listed building consent is required or not.