What is dwelling?

VAT works on the basis of a supply being guilty until proven innocent. It is no use arguing that some future event will affect what is happening now. This is a lesson learned the hard way by Mitchell & Anor [2018] TC 06418 in a failed DIY housebuilder claim. While winning their initial argument, based on established grounds, that having bathing facilities and installing a microwave and kettle were all you need to create a new dwelling, the appeal failed on the terms of the planning consent.

A DIY VAT claim can only succeed where the new ‘dwelling’ can be both separately used and disposed of, which effectively turns on the terms of the planning consent. Here there was a condition in the consent that the building ‘shall not be used as a separate residential unit at any time’ which really makes for an open and closed case. It really is a complete waste of time arguing that the planners would later agree to remove the condition. It is all about the reality of the situation at the time of making the claim.

Posted in Property.