Call for council tax relief on empty landlord properties

by Property 118

11:38 AM, 24th April 2020
About a month ago

Call for council tax relief on empty landlord properties

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Call for council tax relief on empty landlord properties

The NRLA are calling on Ministers to instruct local authorities that they should not charge council tax on rented homes left empty because of the coronavirus.

A significant number of rented homes have been left empty because tenants have been unable to take up tenancies, or have chosen to move out to be closer to family during the lockdown. During this period landlords will become liable for the council tax on the property and have no realistic prospect of finding new tenants.

The National Residential Landlords Association is asking the Government to tell councils that they should exempt houses have been left empty as a result of the virus from council tax demands.

A recent survey by the NRLA found that 41% of landlords are concerned about having to cover the unexpected costs of utility bills and council tax.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “It is manifestly unfair for landlords to be asked to pay council tax on properties which are empty, and likely to remain so, because of the impact of the pandemic. Whilst we remain supportive of the measures taken so far by the Government, landlords are being asked to absorb more costs at a time when they are least able.

“Unlike most small businesses and the self-employed, there has been no direct support package announced for landlords. Removing this unnecessary burden would at least help those landlords who are struggling to cope with drastically reduced income.”


Paul Shears

12:53 PM, 7th May 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 07/05/2020 - 12:44
Good luck. Between the lot of us we have 650 MP's to have a go at. You never know, between all the landlords that pick up this task, we may find one MP that actually sees the problem and actually tries to add some real value. There are a fair number of MP's that are landlords themselves and some have sizeable portfolios.

Adrian Jones

15:03 PM, 7th May 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 06/05/2020 - 10:53
Will do. I'm also writing to the Chief Executive of Pembrokeshire Council and the Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys police to confirm whether or not a single tradesman can work on an empty property and whether unaccompanied viewing by a prospective tenant is permissible.


19:00 PM, 7th May 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Just had my reply from my MP...

Thank you for your email.
I shall feed in the points you have made to ministers the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
I am aware of landlords/tenants who are carrying out necessary property moves while adhering to the guidance provided by Government. I would encourage you to make further representations to the relevant local authorities if you believe there to be inaccuracies within their assessment, or the response they have provided.
Kind regards,

A total 'pass the buck' then back to the Council involved... AUGH!

Paul Shears

19:37 PM, 7th May 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by WP at 07/05/2020 - 19:00That's as totally an irresponsible response as every other one that I have seen so far but with a whole new layer of political ineptitude.
Maybe I should try to become an MP. It's seems like the entrance threshold is pretty low.........
But then again, perhaps not. I simply do not have the right mindset.

Paul Shears

23:47 PM, 13th May 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 07/05/2020 - 12:44
My local MP, Steve Brine, got Luke Stephens, Head of Ministerial Correspondence, to answer my (Our) council tax observation today.
The gist of it is "The government will not get involved in this national problem. Talk to your council."
Ever since I understood the concept of voting and certainly way before I was old enough to actually vote, I have had the opinion that it should be possible to vote against all parties even if that left no one in office.
When I lived in New Zealand, decades ago, it was actually possible in practice to do exactly this.
Three protest parties that “actually” stood for office were "The Micky Mouse Party", "The Wizard of Christchurch" (Who was actually a university lecturer and "The Sherlock Homes Party" (Who also had a real human being to front it up and whom, by chance, I met). These parties stood as organisations that you could vote for in protest at the other alternatives.

Paul Shears

8:22 AM, 14th May 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 01/05/2020 - 12:51
You are definitely right.
Moreover I did a bit more digging around the standard response that I got from my MP and here are a few observations:

Landlord wrote to Steve Brine MP.
Steve Brine passed to Robert Jenrick MP Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Gov’t.

Information on Robert Jenrick:
After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, Jenrick was appointed as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Gov’t.
He assumed office as Communities Secretary on 24/07/19 & became the youngest member of Johnson's cabinet.
His response to the national crisis with regard to housing safety following the Grenfell Tower fire was criticised as demonstrating a misunderstanding of the issue, alongside his reluctance to engage with representatives of the many thousands of British citizens whose lives remained at risk.
His approach, which was said to include "naming & shaming", was seen by some as lacking robustness & ineffective.
Robert Jenrick was criticised as having failed to deliver on promises & has yet to take concrete action.
There were eight significant fires after Grenfell, including the Bolton Cube.
Thousands of affected residents continued to face financial burdens & their lives remained at risk.
This stood in contrast to some more effective measures put in place by the Australian Gov’t to keep their citizens safe.
In Feb 2020, in a survey of leaseholders from 117 housing developments by the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, a charity that supports leaseholders, 90% of respondents said the Gov’t's response to the 'cladding crisis' had been "no help at all".
Coronavirus lockdown hypocrisy
In April 2020, despite Jenrick repeatedly urging the public at televised press briefings to stay at home during the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, it was claimed on the front page of the Daily Mail, dated 10/04/20, that he had twice flouted Gov’t restrictions after they were announced first by travelling 150 miles from London to a second home in Herefordshire, Eye Manor, where he was now living with his family, & then by travelling 40 miles to see his parents near Ludlow, Shropshire.
He was accused of hypocrisy.
Sources close to the minister defended the latter trip by saying that he was delivering food & medication, & did not enter the house.
The visit came after Robert Jenrick appealed for people not to visit their family on Mother's Day.
He had previously written an article for the Mail on Sunday arguing that rather than relatives travelling, local communities should help out.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed that Robert Jenrick's primary residence was in fact his £2.5 million townhouse in Central London, where his wife worked & his three children attended school.
Senior MPs called for Robert Jenrick to consider his position, given his high-profile role in Downing St's campaign to keep the British public inside during the outbreak, including the ban on travelling to second homes.
The article about Robert Jenrick on Wikipedia was one of a number edited in May 2015 by computers owned by Parliament in what The Daily Telegraph described as "a deliberate attempt to hide embarrassing information from the electorate".
In Jan 2020, Robert Jenrick spoke at the Conservative Friends of Israel parliamentary reception & told the audience that he would "look forward to the day" when Britain's embassy in Israel will be "moved to Jerusalem", adding that "as Housing Secretary I don't like land-banking.
I want us to build that embassy".
The British Gov’t had not indicated it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the US did in 2018.
In April 2020, The Sunday Times revealed that Robert Jenrick had charged taxpayers more than £100,000 for "a third home" in his constituency of Newark that he appears to use only rarely.

Robert Jenrick MP passed to: Luke Stephens Head of Ministerial Correspondence
Luke Stephens passed to: Steve Brine MP.
Steve Brine MP passed back to landlord.

Richard of York

11:03 AM, 14th May 2020
About 3 weeks ago

On the matter of council tax I always email the local council to inform them of a change of tenant - I have just received an invoice for £3.55 from Liverpool City Council after informing them that one tenant moved out of a property on 19th February 2020 and a new tenant moved in on 20th February 2020. In 17 years I've not come across this before...….I imagine the cost of recovering the £3.55 will be greater than the £3.55...……..keep safe All.

Gary Nock

11:07 AM, 14th May 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 14/05/2020 - 08:22
Paul it's a stitch up. I will be using the legal amendment issued a couple of days ago " allowing properties to be let" in my evidence to the Valuation Tribunal.


20:11 PM, 21st May 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Following my post of 01/05/2020 - 12:40 where I posted the response of my MP and him intervening with the council, this is the letter I received:
Dear Mr xxx
Thank you for providing details of your empty rental properties.
We have considered your request to award an exemption for the period of lockdown where you were following government advice not to let out your properties. Unfortunately, this does not constitute as occupation being prohibited by law as there were exceptions that would have allowed people to move home, therefore there is no exemption available during this period.
I understand this is not the response you were hoping for. If you disagree with the decision to not award an exemption on any of the properties you can appeal in writing within 2 months of our decision to:
Valuation Tribunal for England
2nd Floor
120 Leman Street
E1 8EU

Telephone: 0300 123 2035
Fax: 020 7481 4891

Gary Nock

20:33 PM, 21st May 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Exactly the same response as me. It's a stitch up

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