My recent tussle with Norwich City Council Tax Department

by Mark Alexander

8:30 AM, 2nd August 2012
About 6 years ago

My recent tussle with Norwich City Council Tax Department

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My recent tussle with Norwich City Council Tax Department

I advised Norwich City Council Tax Department as soon as one of my properties became vacant for a few weeks between tenancies. I was undertaking refurbishment works. I fully expected to be granted exemption from Council Tax but they sent me a bill. It wasn’t a lot of money but I challenged them as a matter of principle. They did put up a bit of a fight but to their credit they did back down in the end when they realised they were onto a loser. I was surprised they didn’t make me provide full evidence to validate my claim for exemption, they started to but they backed off. You may find the email correspondence below interesting just in case you ever find yourself in a similar position.

My first email to Norwich City Council Tax Department

24th May 2012

Good morning

Ref a/n 46***524 – ** Property address **

With reference to the outstanding amount of £81.94 I wish to request exemption as the property was unfurnished whilst vacant.

1st response from Norwich City Council Tax Department

31st July 2012

Thanks for your email.

According to both the outgoing and incoming tenants this property is let on a furnished basis. A charge of 90% is due and payable when the property is unoccupied.

If you removed the furniture for the period in question at this stage you will need to provide receipts for removal/storage in order for a retospective exemption to be considered.

If you have any further queries, please e-mail revenues@norwich.gov.uk to ensure a prompt reply.

Thank you

My reply to Norwich City Council Tax department

31st July 2012

Thank you for your email.

I had the property completely refurbished between tenancies and needed to clear it for this purpose. I do not have receipts for removals and storage as I did this myself and with the help of my family. Several items of furniture were disposed of and replaced including beds and a washer/dryer. My accountants have been provided with the receipts for the refurbishment work and the replacement furniture if this helps?

Final response from Norwich City Council Tax Department

1st August 2012

Mark,

Thanks for your reply.

As you have now clarified the position regarding the status of the property for the void period I have been able to award an exemption.

You will receive a zero bill for your records shortly.

If you have any further queries, please e-mail revenues@norwich.gov.uk to ensure a prompt reply.

It just goes to show doesn’t it, sometimes it pays to stand your ground. Perhaps not financially in this instance but then again, the emails took me around 20 minutes to deal with (this article took longer!) so based on saving £81.94 that’s the equivalent of making £245.82 per hour!



Comments

Jerry Jones

19:18 PM, 2nd August 2012
About 6 years ago

Unusual to let on a furnished basis in my experience - what made you decide to do so?

Mark Alexander

19:25 PM, 2nd August 2012
About 6 years ago

Hi Jerry, there is a booming market to provide short term accommodation to insurance company contractors in central Norwich. Fully furnished is essential in that market, similar to holiday let's.

Sam Addison

20:00 PM, 2nd August 2012
About 6 years ago

I had a similar problem with Wigan when I bought a property to renovate to let. I informed them promptly upon completion that I was now responsible for council tax as from 6th Feb 2012 and that major renovations would have to be done including full rewiring. They promised to send out forms to fill in. No forms but mid march I recieved a bill. Tried to ring them without getting through so sent them an e-mail. No reply!
Mid April received another bill with 7 days to pay or else.
I had to go into a local office (disguised under the name of 'Life Centre' ) to obtain forms, fill in and immediately submit at the desk for which I received a receipt and assurance I would be chased by bailiffs.
3 weeks later came letter explaining I did not need to have filled in forms as no charge for first 6 months vacant.
If private industry worked like this they would go bust!

7:36 AM, 16th September 2012
About 6 years ago

This is a terrific article. You make sense with your views and I agree with you on many. Some information got me thinking. That’s a sign of a great article.Thanks for giving information.man and van croydon


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