Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About 3 days ago 93
We have a small HMO of 5 rooms in Stoke-On-Trent. Recently the Valuation Office has brought our property in as 5 separate hereditaments. The property has been regarded as a single dwelling until 5 months ago, with a tax for the entire property, now 5 times higher.
We have got the HMO license, but 3 out of 5 rooms are on the verge of what can be approved (10m2). 2 rooms are slightly larger about 13m2 and 18m2. All rooms have a minimal en-suite and a small fridge, but no possibility to cook. We have had a hard time renting out due to reduced demand and small rooms and a small shared kitchen. We have had an occupancy of about 3.5 people over time in 5 rooms. The tax must be paid regardless of whether we have tenants, they say. The house has a value of approximately £85,000.
The valuation office made the change without contacting or notifying us, so we had no opportunity to question or give our opinion. We have tried to make contact with them to discuss whether it is reasonable. The Council does not want to discuss or show us the basis for the assessment. They do not allow us to talk to the person responsible. We have submitted, by email, an appeal. They refuse to answer if it is accepted as formally correct, although I have emailed and asked 3 times.
Does anyone have any similar experience or advice on what we can do? Any idea if we have a chance to have our appeal approved?
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