Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago 35
I have paid hundreds of pounds in council tax in the last 12 months on empty properties. Mainly between tenants, when the properties have needed extensive work.
My requests for exemptions more than 1 – 3 months have fallen on deaf ears and most recently I had a tenant who asked if he could sign a tenancy surrender after 4 weeks, due to ill health.
I allowed this, but then it took me a further 3 months to find a new tenant. I asked the council if I could have an exemption, but they said no, due to the fact that the tenant had not lived there for a minimum of 6 weeks, so I now have to pay for 3 months council tax on top of lost rent.
I find it incredible that people living alone get a 25% discount for their council tax (because they do not use the services to the same extent as a larger family) but landlords’ empty properties, that do not qualify for exemptions, are charged 100%.
How are the councils justifying this? I have failed to receive a satisfactory answer from them. I email the council about this most recent charge and enquired where it tells landlords on their website about the 6 weeks minimum for a tenants to be living there before a landlord can claim an exemption, as this would be needed for clarity and transparency. I was told that the following:
The information is not detailed on the Council Website but please see below the Council tax ( Exempt Dwellings) (Amendment) order 1993 Regulations and I have highlighted the part regarding the six week rule.
I would welcome any feedback on this and wonder if we can fight these unfair charges. I feel at the very least we should be able to get a 25 – 50% discount if people actually living in properties and using all the councils services are getting a discount.
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