Attention all landlords of unfurnished properties - You were warned!

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    Attention all landlords of unfurnished properties - You were warned!

    Late last year I asked all landlords to campaign against proposed abolition of class A and C council tax exemptions. Thanks if you did, but if you didn't DON'T COMPLAIN.

    From April 2013 Class A anc C exemptions WILL be ABOLISHED.

    This will typically mean you as the landlord will pay 100% of the council tax during void period whether unfurnished or not. Your council has, at it's discretion the ability to offer a discount but don't hold your breath.

    This new came to me this afternoon courtesy of Ipswich Borough Council when I applied for a class C from today and was told for this reason that is would expire 31st March 2013!

    #2
    The country needs the money & tightening up on tax fiddles seems prudent... wouldn't you agree? There is a financial crisis going on, benefits being slashed, etc etc etc
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      Ipswich are particularly hard-nosed - since Ipswich have taken council tax matters from Babergh and Midsuffolk I am finding them an absolute nightmare to deal with.
      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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        #4
        Landlords need to sharpen up on their inspections and check outs to make sure that they are ready to let when vacated.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #5
          Quite. The answer is either to factor potential void periods into your business plan, or avoid them completely.

          For the record, I do think most students in private accommodation should pay a contribution to council tax, too. One fewer night out per month should cover it for most of them.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            I cannot see a problem with this at all. If you market and maintain a property well, there is no need for more than a few weeks void between tenants. In 12 years of letting, I think I have maybe had combined period of 6 months over that whole period without a tenant.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
              The country needs the money & tightening up on tax fiddles seems prudent... wouldn't you agree? There is a financial crisis going on, benefits being slashed, etc etc etc
              Couldn't agree more. Whilst none of us like taxation, the country is in a mess. Largely caused by those who either want to work and avoid tax or those who don't want to earn and be paid for it. A few years of everyone 'paying our dues' should sort things out. (I know it's more complicated that this, but the basic premis is there).
              I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

              Comment


                #8
                Indeed: and keeping a property empty when there is such huge demand for housing, with councils and/or tenants paying for expensive temporary accommodation is hardly the act of a patriotic or humane person.

                Others may hold alternative views.

                Cheers!
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Others may hold alternative views.
                  I dissagree with having to pay council tax on a vacant property,
                  when there is no one there that needs the services of the council.
                  No bins to empty, no one to use street lights, libraries, parks.
                  police etc.

                  You should only have to pay a token tax.
                  As there is no one in the property using any services.

                  Councils are getting more council tax than ever before.
                  eg.
                  1970 - Large victorian houses round here, were one house.
                  2012 - Large victorian houses round here, now 5 flats each.

                  Therefore, council tax income has increased 5 fold
                  So there is no need to charge for empty properties as their income
                  is 5 times more since 1970 !
                  And they HAVE closed courts, previously sacked nurses and teachers
                  and are now closing libraries, even with a 5 fold increase in tax income !

                  The reason why we are short of houses / flats, apart from increase
                  in indigenous population, is all the foreigners here, but we wont
                  comment on that in this thread, Leave it for another.

                  We now have to give FREE national health care to THE WHOLE WORLD.
                  Doctors have been told by the government to treat the whole world,
                  for free ( Come over here, give a false address, get your free heart )

                  R.a.M.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    interesting views on immigration. Foreigners are quite welcome when the push property values up, quite a problem when they need services.

                    If you argue that an empty property has no need of council services, then why not use the same rule for the number of occupants? As a single occupant, I used to get a discount but now i live with my gf in a 4 bedroom house. Still pay as much council tax as the 5 member family next door that needs 2 bins of trash a week. I think the idea is to split per property and not per person. All these things depend on what your circumstances are. You have a vacant property, you dont want to pay any tax. You dont, and you dont want to pay increased tax for vacant properties
                    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The occupants of a large house used fewer council services than the more numerous occupants of the property once split into 5 flats. So the latter are charged, in total, more CT. Fair enough.
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                        The occupants of a large house used fewer council services
                        than the more numerous occupants of the property once split into
                        5 flats. So the latter are charged, in total, more CT. Fair enough.
                        Naaaah.

                        5 times the income but,
                        Same number of
                        Roads, street lamps, parks, pavements, bin men, hospitals etc.

                        But less police, less public toilets, less courts, less social services,
                        less L.H.A. payments ( reduced for under 25's, and at least £ 30
                        a month reduction in L.H.A. since last year. )
                        Less staff in councils, and list goes on and on and on.

                        In all, a total white wash of the services.

                        http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&outpu...iw=789&bih=468
                        Last edited by ram; 08-11-2012, 01:06 AM. Reason: link added

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ram View Post

                          5 times the income but,
                          Same number of
                          Roads, street lamps, parks, pavements, bin men, hospitals etc.
                          No. More rubbish generated by more people (and not only by the tenants in this case!), more people using the pavements, parks, police, courts, schools, social services and hospitals, more cars using the roads. Street lamps, I agree, but that is fraction of the council's budget. And the same property split into smaller units would not generate 5 times the income that the undivided very large house would. Unless you are comparing the 'big unconverted house's' Cin its pre-conversion days with the total CT now for the 5 new units (which isn't really very sensible). All other things being equal, it's probably only double or three times. Which would be about right, I'd say.

                          But less police, less public toilets, less courts, less social services,
                          less L.H.A. payments ( reduced for under 25's, and at least £ 30
                          a month reduction in L.H.A. since last year. )
                          Less staff in councils, and list goes on and on and on.
                          I think what is at the bottom of your gripe is that local services are inadequately funded, full stop. If there are fewer of all these things, then you have your beloved Tories to thank for hobbling local councils (often against the wishes of the population) and preventing them employing enough binmen, police, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. and providing good (or even adequate) services and amenities for that area.

                          There is no such thing as a free lunch. If we want good local services, they have to be paid for. The poll tax was unfair (as your argument implies); the present system (of charging households based on the size and quality of the accommodation they live in) isn't perfect, but it is fairer than what you seem to be suggesting - and it generates more income. As a single tenant living in one part of a converted large house, you would not in any case be paying as much as if one adult occupied the entire (unconverted) house. The total CT income generated from that property (once converted, and housing more adults) should indeed be higher. The truth is, services are expensive and we all have to pay for them.

                          If you have property standing around empty, in a country with a housing crisis, that's a scandal in itself (not to mention poor business sense) and there is even a case for an 'empty property tax' on property owners who allow this to happen.
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                          Comment


                            #14
                            From April 2013 the new Technical Reforms Bill removes a full range of exemptions and replaces them with a range of discounts that all Councils can 'choose' to use/apply ( between 0% and 100%). These include class A, (Undergoing repair/renovation) class C (all mostly unfurnished for first 6 months) and class L (repossessions) as well as others. It also gives all Local Authorities the 'choice' about charging a premium 150% - 200% on long term empties of over 2 years. It also removes the current discounts on second and holiday homes. I say 'choice' because to an extent local authority hands are forced, due to the 10% they are having removed from the fund that paid Council Tax Benefit when this is abolished on 1st April and other cuts.
                            [B][B]This is still a Bill at the present time, but is due to be an Act very shortly. Some additional changes have been proposed as result of lobbying, eg with long term premiums landlords and owners can become exempt from the extra by proof that they are actively trying to sell. Many Local Authorities have been consulting on this with Landlords, but most will have finished or closed due to the timetable to implement the new schemes. Worth checking with local Councils and CLG if consultation is still open for responses.

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