Buyers face tax penalty for poorly insulated homesUnited Kingdom
Home owners who buy houses with poor insulation could be hit with a tax bill for thousands of pounds under new plans being considered to combat climate change.
Ministers are examining introducing new stamp duty penalties to force property owners to make their homes more energy efficient, it was reported.
It could apply to millions of homes with old heating boilers, draughty windows or insufficient loft insulation.
The move could be tied in with a package of incentives to encourage people to use less energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Under the plan being considered in Whitehall, anyone buying a house in the lowest energy efficiency bands would have to pay an extra 0.5 per cent on top of their stamp duty bill.
But if they upgraded the property within a short time of moving in they could claim back double the original penalty.
The initiative could be introduced in two years time as part of the Government’s “Green Deal” which includes measures to help home owners pay for improvements to make their properties more energy efficient.
Moves to introduce a penalty come amid concern that financial incentives for home owners to upgrade their properties to reduce energy waste are having a limited effect.
“We need to consider purchase penalties for the least efficient properties if we are to make substantial progress in reducing emissions from our homes," a Whitehall source told The Times.
A more radical proposal effectively banning owners of properties with the lowest energy efficiency ratings from putting them on the market until they have upgraded them is thought to have been rejected by ministers as it could "trap" the least well off in homes they are unable to sell.
It is hoped that stamp duty penalties would instead create an incentive for owners to upgrade before putting them house up for sale as they would be less attractive to buyers otherwise.
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