10:36 AM, 12th February 2021, About 3 years ago 43
Hello all, I wanted to make fellow landlords and agents aware of a situation we are facing in Long Eaton, Nottingham. A recent ruling by the Valuations Office has ruled that a newly converted building providing 8 luxury ensuite bedrooms (HMO) is to be classed as separate dwellings and each tenant will be liable for council tax. The VAO is saying that because there is an ensuite and a lock on the door it is a “dwelling”. All the other facilities are shared in the house.
This newly converted, beautiful HMO has now had the rug pulled from under its feet. We have had to communicate to all tenants that the council will be pursuing them for Council Tax. We manage an HMO in the same area with 8 ensuite bedrooms, the same setup and there is only 1 Council Tax. It means this property is now not on a level playing field compared to its competitors. It is madness. So the once affordable ensuite bedrooms have suddenly become unaffordable and uncompetitive as each tenant is looking at a council tax bill of around £100 a month after the single person discount has been applied.
I find this ruling completely wrong and more importantly a devastating ruling for single people – young people trying to gain independence, saving for the first home, marriage breakdown, so many reasons why people need, good quality, affordable shared housing.
The landlords are trying to campaign the Valuations office to demonstrate that they are being unfairly treated. The council say it is nothing to do with them as it is the Valuations Office that decides. Looking at the comparables in terms of local HMOs, none have had their rooms classed as “dwellings”. Only bedsits are classed as “dwellings” and that I understand.
I’m an agent and a landlord. We have multiple HMOs. This ruling sends a shiver down my spine for the future of HMOs.
Does anyone have any experience of this?