Council Tax

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  • Council Tax

    As a landlord am I liable for council tax on the property for any period that it is unlet? If not how do I go about claiming exemption?

  • #2
    Short answer is yes you are - but most councils allow an "empty" period usually restricted to 3 or 6 months - speak to council tax department as each LA varies.


    • #3
      I have just discovered to my cost that even London councils have taken up their option to reduce the 50% discount to 10% when properties are unnocupied.

      People really hate landlords don't they!



      • #4
        Even then, I believe, the property has to be unfurnished.
        Private advice is available for a fee by sending a private message.


        • #5
          Most councils will exempt landlords from the liability to pay council tax for a period of 6 months while their property is unoccupied and unfurnished. I find it best to advise them of this fact in writing. Most councils tend ot forget telephone calls which may cost them money, and they also tend to loose such letters as well, however, I find that letters tend to work a bit better.
          What is worrying is the comment above that some councils are now opting out of this arrangement to further increase our costs (and therefore rents I suppose).

          Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


          • #6
            Changes brought in by the Local Government Bill 2003 allowed local government to decide how much discount they will give to landlords whilst the property is between tenants or otherwise empty. These changes came into force on the 1st April 2004

            In Milton Keynes for example, unfurnished properties falling empty will still benefit from a 0% charge for the first 6 months of the empty period but after the initial 6 months the full charge will be payable. I believe this is still fairly standard across the UK

            However, furnished properties falling empty will immediately be liable for 90% of the full charge from the first day they fall empty. The actual percentage is down to the local council in each area although I believe most have taken advantage of the new bill to increase their council tax income at the expense of landlords.
            My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.


            • #7
              Thank you all for your input


              • #8
                The council will send you an exemption statement if & when they agree that you are exempt (I have experience of 2 different councils - no problem at all - they reduce to zero). You can then contact the water board who will also exempt you from charges during the period, they usually ask you to send them a copy of the Council exemption form. Keeps your costs down!!


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