View more on these topics

Is it fair for the government to tax you on the appearance of your home?

Last week, the Conservatives exposed an 80-page government manual designed to instruct inspectors on how to grade properties for Council Tax. The Tories have warned that features such as patios and other aesthetic improvements might lead to the government placing residents in a higher band.

So this week Mortgage Strategy asks: Is it fair for the government to tax you on the appearance of your home?

Adam Shaw, 28, musician

I’m not sure Council Tax should be characterised by aesthetics. It is something that should be charged equally, regardless of the details. Improvements to a home do not seem to me a fair method for stipulating tax brackets.

Daniel Terziyski, 30, IT technician

They should be paying me to make improvements on my house because it would make my local area look better. Anyway, if I could afford to to make improvements my property I would be earning more money so in turn I would be paying more Income Tax. Why should I be taxed further?

Manuel Vitorino, 31, fundraiser and singer

This is an unfair way of taxing the public. Everyone wants to live comfortably, and why shouldn’t they? It is wrong to charge people more for trying to do that and for attempting to make their lives better.

Charlie Boyze, 25, post-production engineer

Council Tax is too high anyway so there’s no need to make it even higher. Having said that, if you can afford a nice house in a nice place, you can probably afford a rise in Council Tax.

Julian Guest, 36, electrician

If you move into a house that has been improved this is just going to be another thing to add on to the cost of buying a home. It isn’t right.

Dan Reston, 25, lighting engineer

People have different views on what they consider to be improvements to a house. It is subjective not objective, which makes this unfair.

Rupert Savage, 20, actor

I have moved out of a rented house because the Council Tax was too high so I’m against this idea. Until I hear why the government needs more I would not want to pay another penny. Tom Hall, 26, actorThis idea makes it seems like the government is encouraging us to have unkempt, horrible homes. I would not want to pay more just for putting a bit of effort into my home. This would be just another unnecessary cost that I don’t need.

Michaela Gummerum, 31, psychology lecturer

The government could argue that a nice home will have a higher market value so it is OK to tax it at a higher rate. But if you have a nice home in a nice area it makes your street a better place, which is a plus for the public and the local environment.

Isaac Fernandez, 38, finance manager

This would be a disastrous move. A beautiful home is the right of every person – there shouldn’t be a penalty on it. There are a lot of people, especially older people, who cannot afford to pay Council Tax as it is. A rise would just make things even harder.


HIP conferences set for April

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers is to host two conferences in April to help estate agents and other industry figures prepare for the introduction of HIPs on June 1. The conferences will be held at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 16 and the Emirates Stadium in London on April 18.

Equity release sector to get TV grilling tonight

Tonight with Trevor McDonald is this evening taking a look at the equity release market in the run-up to Financial Services Authority regulation of the sector in April.

Book celebrates ordinary UK homes

With government tax inspectors rumoured to be eyeing up the quality of people’s homes for new Council Tax bands, a book just out could offer inspiration to those looking to devalue their homes in the eyes of prying inspectors.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up