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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you purchase a property that has been empty for some time, you get no longer get any free council tax period, even on a property undergoing renovation/not habitable.
If said newly acquired property has been empty for 2 years or more (eg, reposession) you may have to pay 150% council tax rate from the day of completion, again, even if it isn't habitable or is undergoing work.

I found this little gem of info out this morning - the hard way.

Feckin barmy thieving feckwits go and shaft another one up the hardworking British publics' arse.

Phil
 

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Has it only just changed? Does it vary from council to council?

My house was uninhabitable when I bought it, and I got a 12 month exclusion from council tax.

A member of my family was also refurbishing their house, which was uninhabitable (determined by having no toilet, washing or cooking facilities) and was given 6 months, which was then extended to 12 months.

Licenced thievery it sounds to me!!!
 

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is uninhabitable not having Sky .. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It changed just over a year ago.
In the past I have had exemptions for 6 to 12months.
Level of implementation is determined by the local authority, as far as I can determine.
The clock starts ticking as soon as the property becomes empty, not on the purchase date.

It's cost me over 1k so far this calendar year :(

Thoughts, loopholes (legal) and suggestions welcomed.
It looks like it may be cheaper for me to 'move' out for a while (2 propertys at 75% vs 1 at 100% and 1 at 150%)
 

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Man with two homes complains about tax.....sympathy pours in from homeless people nationwide.
 

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Grumpy auld man!
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Man with two homes complains about tax.....sympathy pours in from homeless people nationwide.
Yes, but man with 2 homes is probably going to do one up and sell it to one of the homeless people therefore diminishing the problem by 1. :D:salute:

PS. Move to Scotland Phil, none of that shite up here.;)

Andy.
 

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Yes, but man with 2 homes is probably going to do one up and sell it to one of the homeless people therefore diminishing the problem by 1. :D:salute:

PS. Move to Scotland Phil, none of that shite up here.;)

Andy.
Yet!!!
 

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Has it only just changed? Does it vary from council to council?

My house was uninhabitable when I bought it, and I got a 12 month exclusion from council tax.

A member of my family was also refurbishing their house, which was uninhabitable (determined by having no toilet, washing or cooking facilities) and was given 6 months, which was then extended to 12 months.

Licenced thievery it sounds to me!!!
Got it in one Bob!! I was told that the Council had consulted on their change of Policy and I asked for details of how and when teh consultation had been carried out, nothing was forthcoming and as a Parish Councillor, we were certainly not consulted. We looked at an old property with a view to doing it up and selling on or letting, the Council tax liability was enough to scrub the idea.... This needed major works like the place you describe.
 

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It must differ between councils too

I have just had to refurb one and it's been unihabitable since November when I took possession and I got a 50% discount

Here's a quirky one for you

My previous tennant was on housing benefit so the council tax was paid for him

When the rules changed in 2013 they only paid 75% of his council tax (and the rest is written off - don't ask me how I found this out) councils fudging the figures!!

When the tennant did a runner last year I had to pick up the rest of the years bill including the 25% they would have written off if he was still in there

As a landlord I was never notified of the changes to the rules and they were paying the rent direct to me
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Some councils can offer a discount while others can charge the maximum, hardly a fair system!
Ironically a repossession company can hold a proprty and pay zero council tax during the term, poor muppet buys and gets charged 150% from completion!

It sounds like you have had a lot of grief, not to mention expense Paul.
It's unbelievable that you have to pick up the council tax tab for the previous tenant :/

Unfortunately, I'm flat out with other work at the moment and unable to dedicate much of my time to doing it up....

Phil
 

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I was chatting with Ruth's dad about this last night, he's just bought a property that only needed decorating throughout and the council gave him a 50% reduction for 6 months with no fuss.

Having said that the property he bought last year needed gutting and he had to provide loads of info before they would give him a 3 month reduction.

Seems it depends who you talk to in Derbyshire County Council.
 

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Dunno what happened, my original reply got deleted somewhere along the line :-(

Anyway, the gist of the post was that the only real "getout" I have found was to put a full time student into the property, no Council Tax charged, but you will need proof from the Uni or College that your "tenant" is a full time student, or put a name, any name (You, V?) as the sole tenant and get the single occupancy discount, this seems to vary across the Country I believe though.

I had a similar case to Paul-S where a tenant trashed the place and we were left with an extended job of refurb, the full council tax on top was an insult. Maybe a concerted change in attitudes by Councillors looking for Votes next May could change things, but I doubt it, most Councils are so cash strapped they are looking for income from anywhere, I reckon that if a wheeze generates more than the cost of gathering it, they'll probably go for it...
 

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When the rules changed in 2013 they only paid 75% of his council tax (and the rest is written off - don't ask me how I found this out) councils fudging the figures!!

When the tenant did a runner last year I had to pick up the rest of the years bill including the 25% they would have written off if he was still in there

As a landlord I was never notified of the changes to the rules and they were paying the rent direct to me
I would like to have had a go at arguing that one with the Council. I have never heard that you as a Landlord with a properly contracted Tenant were liable for the debts of the Tenant, I guess the argument was that the contract was deemed to have ended when said scrote did a bunk, but I am not sure a Court would agree!
 

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I would like to have had a go at arguing that one with the Council. I have never heard that you as a Landlord with a properly contracted Tenant were liable for the debts of the Tenant, I guess the argument was that the contract was deemed to have ended when said scrote did a bunk, but I am not sure a Court would agree!
It was not just the council tax but also all of the utilities he was in arrears with. I managed to stave off the Water but Gas and Elecy was through British Gas and he had been disconnected even from emergency due to arrears.To get it reconnected I had to fill the meters to zero them and to date I have not received anything back. I only found out the extent of this when the builder needed electricity and once we got the accounts changed back into my name so I could get the cards up and running then the money started disappearing. Only being allowed to purchase £40 a time on the card then inserting the card to see the money go straight to zero on each utility was annoying. British Gas were a nightmare to deal with over this issue

The only saving grace on this is all the expense can be written off in tax
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All this is making grim reading...
I was hoping for positive suggestions lol

Me 'moving out' thereby incurring 2 properties at 75% has been talked about, along with renting at peppercorn rent to get it habited, while work continues (albeit slowly)...

A letter has gone to the local mp but I'm not expecting miracles.

Paul, do you know if Council Tax on a vacant property is tax deductible?

Phil
 

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All this is making grim reading...
I was hoping for positive suggestions lol

Me 'moving out' thereby incurring 2 properties at 75% has been talked about, along with renting at peppercorn rent to get it habited, while work continues (albeit slowly)...

A letter has gone to the local mp but I'm not expecting miracles.

Paul, do you know if Council Tax on a vacant property is tax deductible?

Phil
Anything that you pay is deductable against any income whether now or future as it is a necessary expense of the business that HMRC will tax you on - carry a loss forward into a new tax year
 

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Anything that you pay is deductable against any income whether now or future as it is a necessary expense of the business that HMRC will tax you on - carry a loss forward into a new tax year
Spot on! :thumbup:

Just make sure that your accounts show that the expense is clearly assigned to the rental property to keep HMRC off your back. I know some people who run separate set of accounts for the rental properties and then pull the figures for the end of year returns. Again, it makes for a VERY transparent set of books to keep the Powers that Be happy.
 

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It was not just the council tax but also all of the utilities he was in arrears with. I managed to stave off the Water but Gas and Elecy was through British Gas and he had been disconnected even from emergency due to arrears.To get it reconnected I had to fill the meters to zero them and to date I have not received anything back. I only found out the extent of this when the builder needed electricity and once we got the accounts changed back into my name so I could get the cards up and running then the money started disappearing. Only being allowed to purchase £40 a time on the card then inserting the card to see the money go straight to zero on each utility was annoying. British Gas were a nightmare to deal with over this issue

The only saving grace on this is all the expense can be written off in tax
Our one really bad defaulter left with a pile of debt that took a while to resolve, but I had a standard form letter that I sent to each debt collecting agent and once I had tracked down where he had gone, they had those details too... ;)

Leccy was an issue as the Tenant had a card meter fitted that charged at a big premium to allow them to repay the debt that had built up over 2-3 years with a standard meter. I had to get quite shirty with the supplier who felt that the debt should be assigned with the property!

I am afraid I cannot recall the argument I used to get them to remove the card meter and fit a proper meter, but they did. I suspect I told them that my new tenants expected a proper billed account.
 
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