Council tax per room for HMO in Nottingham!

Council tax per room for HMO in Nottingham!

10:36 AM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago 43

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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?
Many thanks.

Amanda



Comments

by Paul Shears

12:21 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Earlsdon at 12/02/2021 - 12:04
Well it worked for me for the last ten years. However, I know that my days are numbered. The council will just bring in another rule and crash my business. So the first thing to sell is my own home which I will do ASAP.

by Andrew

13:24 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

A year ago I wrote an article on how the VOA decision was overturned on Property118 and included a video link - I cant find the article but here is the video and details of why this case was won and additional arguements to help you

https://youtu.be/YFts5Qhxs9A - Tony Dand How I Stopped HMO Council Tax per Room Banding

Hope this is useful

by terry sullivan

13:45 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

hmrc have tried this before--hence avoid full facilities in each room

however if charged per room, then presumably each tenant should be billed individually and landlord is spared that hassle?

by terry sullivan

13:46 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 12/02/2021 - 12:21
its nil to do with council? and students would still be exempt

by paul robinson

13:55 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Thankfully not in that situation.

This may not go down well with the poster, but I do wonder if landlords providing similar HMO rooms should beforehand considering the likelyhood of this occuring. The more these 'bedsit' type HMOs are created the more chnace of the Valuation Office changing the way the HMO is billed.

by Harry Chunk

14:10 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Incidentally the tenant will get a 25% discount for sole occupancy, which many of these places will be.

by Jane rees Rees

14:38 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

We did not do en-suites after a bit of research only reading on the internet, a few years ago. It seemed to come down to locks on individual bedroom doors, having none on the doors would mean, one household and shared facilities even one shared bathroom helps or if the tenants share each others bathrooms.
You could rent to the student market so no council tax would be payable, though of course I'm not sure of the location. I hope it goes well for you.

by Dylan Morris

14:54 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Indiajane Middleton at 12/02/2021 - 14:38Having no locks on the doors and shared facilities would not make this one household it’s still a HMO. I rent a two bed flat to a lady and her male partner. They have a friend living with them (a third tenant) and it’s definitely a HMO. The friend is classed as another household so in total two households making it a HMO. (I checked with my local authority).

by Buddie

15:46 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

We had the same problem in Ipswich about 2-3 years ago. Renovated to HMO standards but all ensuits, shared kitchens, all inclusive electric, heating and WiFi but VO put all into band A. We tried an appeal but our common sense would not combat the Legal Law of the rating system. The problem is the shower room in each bedroom makes them "dwellings" We lost the appeal and gradually increased the rent to balance the 7 units. Very unfair and wrong to make the single tenant pay this poll tax and should be reformed by MP`s

by Sara Westenborg

16:04 PM, 12th February 2021, About 8 months ago

This is happening in Stoke-On-Trent.
https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/this-immoral-unfair--landlords-3417636
In this case the bank deemed the property not commercially viable and they withdrew the mortgage.


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