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Flat conversion allowances end21st April 2012

Flat conversion“Flat conversion allowances (FCAs), that were introduced in 2001 are set to end” said Marcus Andrews FRICS of Goadsby Bournemouth. “There is now less than 12 months to implement a scheme, and claim back the costs”.

Many shops have empty upper parts standing idle that could become income producing flats.

The scheme was designed to increase the availability of low cost rental accommodation in urban areas by providing 100% capital allowances for the conversion of empty or under-used space above shops and other commercial premises to residential use. The flats must be available for short term letting.

The take-up of the scheme has been much lower than anticipated, suggesting that the relief has not been successful in achieving its objective and is now going to be repealed. This relief will be withdrawn for expenditure incurred after April 2013.

Andrews also said: “Separately, there is a provision in the Planning Law that allows these upper parts to become a single flat and thus avoid the need for a consent, which in Bournemouth triggers a social housing contribution and other planning gain payments. Owners of empty properties should take action now.” 

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