My question is about VAT on works in default. I appreciate that WID may not be the responsibility of every Empty Homes officer but I’m guessing we all work alongside enforcement colleagues who do have this remit and who may have a steer from their finance team.
As an authority we are prepared to use WID in a toolkit of options for tackling the most problematic properties but we don’t want it to be a hollow threat. Concerns have been raised that some owners are happy to wait for us to do the works in default and then pay our invoice because it is cheaper for them as local authorities claim back the VAT, meaning we can’t charge that on to the owner. I’ve been asked how other LAs on the EHN address this issue, is it something that we have to live with or are there ways to make sure that this isn’t the cheap option for owners?