VAT and a property development company building and selling houses

Forum Categories VAT ON PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS VAT and a property development company building and selling houses

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    My son in law has started a property development company along with two friends.  They intend to find and buy smallish plots of land with existing planning permission, enhance that permission where necessary, and build houses for sale to private buyers, presumably via estate agents.  They will buy in all the building work, and do overall site/project management themselves. 
    I’ve looked online to try and help them with basic VAT advice, and wonder if anyone can help with these particular queries?
    (1) From what I’ve gleaned on line they should register for VAT in order to reclaim all input VAT and will not charge VAT on sales as dwellings are zero rated.  Is that correct?
    (2) What I haven’t been able to find out is what the VAT situation is with builders, tradesmen, etc. they appoint to build the houses.  Would they bill my son in law’s company at zero rate so there is nothing to reclaim?
    (3) If they bought materials, say bricks, directly to avoid builders doing so and marking them up, would the brick supplier charge VAT?   
    (4) When they buy, e.g. security fencing, installation of services, not directly related to individual dwellings but the site in general, will those costs be billed to the company including VAT at the standard rate?
    (5) I understand for each sale they must get the buyer to sign a VAT stipulated certificate to evidence the zero rate status, is that correct?
    Are there any VAT pitfalls to be wary of?

    Many thanks!

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