Council tax exemption on dilapidated purchase?

Council tax exemption on dilapidated purchase?

11:55 AM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago 9

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A landlord client has bought a probate sale property that is not quite dilapidated but is barely habitable (depending on your definition of ‘habitable’).

There is central heating but no boiler. The place is filthy, and he intends to take the house back to the bare brick and completely remodel it, extending the square footage along the way. This project is estimated to take 12 months, so he is renting a flat 800 metres away, so he can keep an eye on the project as it progresses.

He has asked us whether we can advise on the council tax position because as things stand, he is certainly liable for council tax on the rented flat but would be looking for an exemption on the house which will remain unoccupied until the renovations have been completed.

At the point where his builder starts taking ceilings down the property becomes genuinely uninhabitable so should be exempt from council tax, but would they say he’s deliberately made the house uninhabitable?

Can he get council tax exemption because of the current condition of the house and the fact that in a very cold January, there’s no central heating because there’s no boiler?

Any help with how we should advise our landlord would be appreciated.


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12:17 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

maybe is the answer - you can send off to VOA a request for exemption of a dwelling in this state. I only found about this myself recently and am now sending off a request to have this assessed/backdated on a property that is currently awaiting building control sign off. If agreed I shall then claim back Council Tax paid during the period .

Freda Blogs

13:13 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

I agree with DSR above.

Slight aside - your client may also be able to get his works done paying 5% VAT rather than 20%. I think the property has to have been empty for more than 2 years, but suggest you check and confirm.

Jane Tomlin

18:27 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

Our council allowed three months free of council tax if the property is uninhabitable. I then applied to the VOA to have it taken off the register - be warned they are taking months to answer anything (I submitted my form in early November with pictures showing the holes in the roof and the insurance company's schedule of repair) and I am still waiting for a reply at end January.
The other thing to be aware of is that after the repair they may well re-rate the property and it won't be in your favour!


19:19 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

We have an exemption currently for exactly this type of long term project, we liaised with the local authority and provided photo's, ie no kitchen/bathroom/overall state of disrepair and dilapidation etc and they have played ball.

Katy Ann

19:25 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

If he’s paid residential rates of stamp duty he may be able to get that reduced to non-residential rate on the basis that it’s too dilapidated to be suitable for use as a dwelling in its current state.


19:50 PM, 26th January 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by JohnCaversham at 26/01/2022 - 19:19
How long an exemption did the LA grant you, please?

Chris Bradley

7:14 AM, 29th January 2022, About A year ago

I had 12mths zero council tax while doing a similar project, but each council has different rules on how long they will exempt it. I wouldnt ask it to be taken of the register as they could revalue it on putting it back on and that make make it change bands

pbez64 pbez64

14:40 PM, 29th January 2022, About A year ago

So many variables to consider Jonathan. Does the council award any local discount/exemption for uninhabitable props since the abolition of statutory exemption class back in 2013? If it does then what does it offer and for how long? Will this fit with time scale of proposed project? If so then apply for it directly to them. If they don't offer anything or period offered isn't long enough then what does it charge? Does it charge the long term empty premium if two year limit is exceeded? Approaching the VOA? If property seen as repairable, then irrespective of cost of repairs they are often reluctant to remove from Valuation List and rely on Wilson v J McColl -2012? If they do remove it, then because of the proposed changes to layout and size then as mentioned above when property is deemed as complete it may come back onto valuation list at a higher band. Also as mentioned above the Voa is at present struggling to respond to requests for changes to both rating and valuation lists- many councils are as frustrated as members of public with the delays.


18:30 PM, 30th January 2022, About A year ago

My brother bought an 8 flat property in late 2019 and his local Welsh Council sent out someone to meet him there and after checking he was given 12 exemptions on all flats until building work completed. Each council can now set its own rules as regards C. Tax.

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