Did you know this about Council Tax?

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  • Did you know this about Council Tax?
  • Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Apparently legislation changed last year giving local authorities ability to decide whether a house, not inhabited, could still demand full council tax and offer no discounted rate or easement (for 6 months whilst prepared to be moved into etc, sell old house etc)

    My LA has decided to take the offer of screwing such folk, so an inhabitable house, without a bathroom, let along being lived, in is liable for full CT, whilst I pay CT at my rented house that I actually live in. (You can get it removed from the VOA list of CT liable properties, but it’s basically got to be derelict/structurally unsound, and let’s face it, it’s a few months to make habitable from a bathroom, bedroom perspective, so what’s the point whilst the ball gets rolling to get VOA to remove?)

    According to the nice chap at the office, there are a fair few landlords mildly displeased.

    The conspiracy in me makes me think this is a lovely way of getting extra revenue from a target audience (those with multiple properties, landlords etc) that would gather no public sympathy. Slippery trick.

    Nice, cheers Leeds CC.

    The conspiracisy in me makes me think this is a lovely way of getting extra revenue

    ..which could always be used to fund adult spelling classes

    project
    Member

    Flood it and then camerrooon will give you 5000quid to improve its flood defences, and a council tax rebate as well, you just have to move down south.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    which could always be used to fund adult spelling classes

    Or mental health services.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I didn’t know that you didn’t pay CT whilst doing up your second home.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    I didn’t know that you didn’t pay CT whilst doing up your second home.

    There you go, fixed that.

    Legoman
    Member

    Yep, I’ve had to pay it when my buy-to-let has been empty between tenants.
    Didn’t realise it was at the local authorities discretion though – assumed they all did it (County Durham certainly do)

    Or mental health services.

    whatever you think would benefit you most 😉

    coffeeking
    Member

    It’s done to discourage people owning second homes (at the expense of local folk) I think. It also helps drive prices down in the rental market (you can’t just leave it uninhabited which means you’ll accept lower rent which means more folk have the chance to rent a house) etc.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    It’s generally a good thing to discourage unlet houses, but yes if it’s you then it still smarts a bit.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Aye, LA blamed Central Gov’t legislation, but looking into it, the change was to allow LA’s more discretion as to whether to offer easements.

    The water board when I told them, asked how much water I was using:

    Me: “Just enough to wash my hands, make a brew and fill the wallpaper stripper”

    WB: “Oh no that’s fine; we’ll close that account down. Just let us know when you move in”

    Bags of goodwill already earned from me for that; seems short sighted from LA for the sake of a couple of hundred quid, for services I’m obviously not going to be using.

    EDIT: Understand logic behind reasons given above, but what’s wrong with a first time buyer/main residence on market still/house uninhabitable (not bloody structurally unsound!) easement category?

    trail_rat
    Member

    my council tax learning curve for this year was – finding out you pay 12 months over 10.

    its the first time i have ever lived in a house for longer than 6 months within the aberdeen city region.

    fwiw – aberdeen allows 3 months grace if you have zero furniture and the house is in an inhabitible state – but they are very explict on the no furniture bit and even mention that if thye visit and theres so much as a chest of drawers then you will get your CT backdated….. no one ever looked 😀

    andyl
    Member

    water company was great when I was renovating too. I had the water turned off as all the plumbing was being done and didn’t get treated like a criminal as the council would.

    The council even hit me with 150% council tax. ie I was paying 1.5x the rate if I was living there or almost 2x the rate of me living there by myself.

    I had to keep earning a bit of money then take a gap in contracts to do work on the place and so forth. Council were very helpful as screwing me over in the mean time.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    No bathroom, no front room ceiling, plaster is basically soft cheese and the only furniture is a bar.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Rich wrote:

    Bags of goodwill already earned from me for that; seems short sighted from LA for the sake of a couple of hundred quid, for services I’m obviously not going to be using.

    Short sighted how? Would you be more likely to pay them to use their services if they’d kept you sweet?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Bags of goodwill already earned from me for that; seems short sighted from LA for the sake of a couple of hundred quid, for services I’m obviously not going to be using.

    Why should the swallow up that couple of hundred though.

    There you go, fixed that.

    Ermm!

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Seriously?

    If you can’t see why I’d be pissed off at paying CT at two properties, when I’m only living at one and the other is my first house and and being made habitable, then there’s probably not much discussion to be had!

    Short sighted in the way that I’ve always been happy with my LA, never kicked off when bins were on strike, never kicked off when streets weren’t gritted etc. Just let it go and guessed they had bigger issues to deal with. I’m a pretty easy going chap, don’t have a family to look after and therefore I probably use less services. Basically I’m a low maintenance council tax payer.

    Now they’re clearly trying to squeeze every penny out of me without giving two sheets of piss about my circumstances, I’ll be inclined to do the same from the service I’m paying for now and offer bugger all sympathy.

    That’s short sighted.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    Why should the swallow up that couple of hundred though.

    Not being pedantic at all, but guessing you means “why should that”, CT is about £80 a month at new skip, including 25% discount, whilst bedroom is made habitable and bathroom is installed. (not as simple as a suite swap).

    IanW
    Member

    Is this another of those “ask a question which happens to disclose my wealth/social status” question which doesnt really have a worthwhile response that you wouldn’t expect the sort of person capable of acquiring such a commodity to work out themselves?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Not being pedantic at all, but guessing you means “why should that”,

    It should read they.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    It should read they.

    Ah, gotcha.

    In that case, because no-one is sodding well living there and using any of the council services. The individual in question pays their council tax at the house they rent whilst they try to make their fist home habitable.

    It’s not hard to separate serial property developers from first time buyers.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    IanW – Member

    Is this another of those “ask a question which happens to disclose my wealth/social status” question which doesnt really have a worthwhile response that you wouldn’t expect the sort of person capable of acquiring such a commodity to work out themselves?

    Oh my bloody god, I just spotted this.

    It’s my first sodding house, having gone through a ‘mare of raising deposit, but guess you fit what I suspected:

    The conspiracy in me makes me think this is a lovely way of getting extra revenue from a target audience (those with multiple properties, landlords etc) that would gather no public sympathy. Slippery trick.

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    I’m still confused. What’s the Large Aunty got to do with any conspiracy theory.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    It’s not hard to separate serial property developers from first time buyers.

    That’s probably why they gave it local councils to decide rather than a blanket pay up option.

    project
    Member

    You couls always vote them out in the next local election

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    That’s probably why they gave it local councils to decide rather than a blanket pay up option.

    I’ll quote my council!

    Unoccupied and unfurnished properties
    Until 01.04.13, exemptions applied to unoccupied and unfurnished properties for up to six months (exemption class C), or for up to 12 months for empty properties being refurbished (exemption class A). However, Council Tax law has changed so from 01.04.13, these exemptions no longer exist. Instead, councils can decide how much discount to grant for empty properties in these circumstances. Leeds City Council has decided to allow no discount at all.

    No reason given, no logic, just “meh, **** orf and pay up”

    EDIT:

    You could always vote them out in the next local election

    That’s my point about short sightedness; I’ve always been fairly passive, but I’ve an interest now, depending on what their response would be to the question I will be raising regarding my personal circumstances, which will take their time in administration, response and ultimately my vote.

    cynic-al
    Member

    As someone who owns only 1 heavily mortgaged property, I am feeling a complete lack of sympathy

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    cynic-al – Member

    As someone who owns only 1 heavily mortgaged property, I am feeling a complete lack of sympathy

    Seriously, I’d have expected a lawyer to have at least read the bloody OP properly.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    If you can’t see why I’d be pissed off at paying CT at two properties, when I’m only living at one

    Well yes, it sucks, but it’s a property tax not a poll tax. So isn’t that what you’d expect?

    cynic-al
    Member

    OP what are you on about.

    The law changed, you now have to pay CT.

    But…IT’S A CONSPIRACY

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Ok let’s say Leeds Authority have 500 such homes and they should pay 100 each per month but they decide it’s fine as they’re busy tidying them up. So that’s £50,000 a month they’re not getting that they were expecting or £600,000PA that’s a good bit to pay towards gritting and refuse collection.

    divenwob
    Member

    Did you take all the rubbish back to your rented abode or did you lob it in your car and off to the local tip?

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    FFS, this is just getting argumentative for the sake of it. I’m not talking about 500 homes, I’m talking about 1. One first home, which before April last year would have earned an easement. Now I pay CT on 2 homes because one is uninhabitable. Who in their right mind would think I would want to pay a mortgage AND rent at the same time??

    ..and yes, I have taken all the shit to the tip, on many, many occasions so far. Only time bin was collected was the previous resident’s rubbish.

    olddog
    Member

    Government has cut LA funding much deeper thsn any other budgets. Not surprising they are pursueing every opportunity that the Govt has allowed to make back some of the shortfall. Also, incentives if tax not to keep property empty, which is a good thing.

    OP got squeezed, maybe, but I knew about this, and have no interest, so it couldn’t have been too much of a secret.

    divenwob
    Member

    Oh,who runs that then?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    FFS, this is just getting argumentative for the sake of it. I’m not talking about 500 homes, I’m talking about 1.

    I wasn’t talking about your homes.

    and yes, I have taken all the shit to the tip, on many, many occasions so far

    So using the Council amenities with item from your second home. Seems you should pay up or get a skip.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    What olddog says is fine, I just wish some people would at least take time to read OP. Why else would I bother posting it, it was for your info FFS!

    cynic-al
    Member

    Still no sympathy, after re reading the op. I could re phrase my op, no point tho.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    cynic-al – Member

    Still no sympathy, after re reading the op. I could re phrase my op, no point tho.

    Well Mr Lawyer, at no point have I asked for any sympathy; I was simply highlighting a change in legislation, the devolved responsibility and the difficulty that this possibly presented a certain segment of the population.

    However, I’m sure you understood that, as a lawyer, having read it twice.

    DaveT
    Member

    you can always sell the second property if it smarts so much?

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