Council Tax relief for void period?

Council Tax relief for void period?

10:24 AM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago 15

Text Size

Hello, we had a tenant vacate our property on August 31st and a new tenant moving in on 2nd October, so empty for a month.

The council gives a 100% discount for council tax for one month only for an empty unfurnished property. My issue is the tenant informed the council a month prior to moving out that it was empty and they had left thus not having to pay for the last months’ council tax.

Will I be liable for the council tax full rate during the void period? Now I have asked the managing agent if the property was empty, apparently, there were boxes and they had not fully moved out but probably not living there. So how can I proceed?

Should the council not have agreed to this as it is a rented property or is the managing agent at fault?

Thanks,

Gary


Share This Article


Comments

Niccolo Capanni

13:19 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

I'm surprised you only got 1 month free for voids, would expect more.
However you are liable from when the tenancy ends and you have recieved possession.
Send the council a copy of the lease and evidence of the move out date. Tenant is liable up to that date if they moved out.

Graham Bowcock

13:55 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

From experience you will probably have to accept that the tenant has taken your void allowance. If the house was genuinely empty for a month then the council won't be interested in your position.

Your only redress would be to claim off the tenant, but I doubt you will get very far.

For the amount that's probably due it's probably not worth worrying about.

Rod

15:00 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

You should count yourself lucky that your council still gives some relief for void periods. Many have removed this concession in its entirety and are reluctant to give any reduction for periods when the property is uninhabitable due to building works.

In your particular situation, it is unclear from your question whether the previous tenants vacated before the end of their tenancy. They would remain responsible for paying council tax until the end of their tenancy in the same way that they would be entitled to quiet enjoyment, ie you could not enter the property at will even if it appeared empty. If you had agreed to early termination, then liability would pass on the date it was agreed to end the tenancy.

If they are contractually liable you could provide the supporting documents to the council but if the property was left clean and tidy with only minor preparation required for the next tenancy, it will be up to you to decide whether the amount you'll save is worth the time and effort. To misquote Napoleon Hill "if you're not earning then you're learning".

Fergus Wilson

15:07 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

Oh dear!

Was it a tenancy where the tenant left early before the expiring of the Fixed Term.? If so look at London Borough of Lambeth v McAttram 2014,

If not then look at Leeds City Council v Broadley 2016.

Gary Williams

15:43 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

Sorry my original post did not specify, the tenant gave the correct amount of notice and fully paid rent up to the leaving day.
Guess another lesson learnt.

John Bentley

16:19 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Niccolo Capanni at 29/09/2023 - 13:19
Both Bournemouth and Leicester council give no discount for void periods. Not a single day. Landlord pays in full, not even a 25% discount as for single occupancy.

Michael Booth

17:59 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Niccolo Capanni at 29/09/2023 - 13:19
It is the decresion of individual councils is to weather council tax is due, in my case our local council charge full council tax on all void properties labour council of course.

Reluctant Landlord

18:03 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

if the tenant gave you proper notice and the leaving date was confirmed then you can show this to the council as proof the tenant is still responsible for CT up to the date the notice period ran out.

You can also provide evidence to the Council that the deposit process could not be carried out until AFTER the official notice date expired.

If the tenant did not sign a surrender then according to a contractual periodic AST the tenant is responsible until the tenancy expired. It is regardless whether they chose to still live inthe propety or not untilt he date the AST expired.

You are respobsible only for any CT (or exemption from paying andy CT( AFTER this date - not before.

A case of educating the CT dept I think!

Reluctant Landlord

18:07 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

sounds like the Agent ba##sed it up and didn't know the proper process himself/herself and then informed the CT dept who took the info at its word. Lets face it the agent doesnt care who pays the CT at the end of the day - its not them!

As the LL you are responsible for any CT between voids (or applying for exemption for it) so take the bull by the horns and contact CT dept yourself and explain.

Then give the Agent a piece of your mind and suggest he/she needs to know their job a lot better.

Consider moving to a different agent....

RMH

18:34 PM, 29th September 2023, About 5 months ago

Generally it is not based on if the property is *empty*, but if it is unfurnished. If it was genuinely unfurnished for the month the tenant claimed, I think you are out of luck (just as they are liable for CT, they are eligible for offered discounts)

1 2

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership

or

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now