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Council tax during renovation?
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7004
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My council website has two sections, one called discount and one called exemptions. Here's the copied wording from the "exemption" section
Quote:
Council Tax exemptions
Some dwellings may be exempt from council tax. If you wish your property to be considered for exemption, please complete the appropriate form from the list below and send it to us, along with any supporting documents that are required

If a property is exempt it will still show on the valuation list. You will not receive a council tax bill, instead we will send you an exemption notice. This will confirm the council tax band the property is in and the rate of council tax that would otherwise have been charged.

Available exemptions

Class B
Any property that is unoccupied and owned by a body established for charitable purposes only. The property is exempt for up to six months if it was last occupied for charitable work. Applications for this exemption must be made in writing and must show how the property concerned meets the above criteria.

Class C
An unoccupied and unfurnished property which includes newly built properties. The property can be exempt for up to three months. These properties will receive a 100% discount for up to 3 months from the date they became empty, then full payment will be due. PLEASE NOTE: This discount will be abolished from 1st April 2017. If you have already been granted this discount and your property remains empty and unfurnished from 1st April 2017, the discount will automatically end on 31st March 2017.

and so it goes on down the list. They do use the word discount, but only in reference to exemptions. It's been the case from many years that Councils have gradually been closing this loophole to prevent properties remaining uninhabitable for years, especially in tourist areas. I do see though your point when you talk about the property being uninhabitable. They don't use that word here.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7004
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may shed some light if anyone feels like "translating" it! http://manuals.voa.gov.uk/corporate/publications/Manuals/CouncilTaxManual/council_tax_man_pn/ct-man-pn4.html

Quote:
2. Since April 2013, the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992 has been amended by the abolition of Class A which gave mandatory relief for a set period of up to 12 months for properties awaiting or undergoing structural repair. In addition billing authorities have been given total discretion on setting periods of empty property relief under Class C, and each will have their own policy. Generally, empty property relief has been greatly restricted with a consequently greater number of enquiries and proposals seeking deletion for properties in poor repair.

This is the paragraph that suggests you need to fulfill the criteria (contained within that link above), to get the property deleted from the Valuation Agency books in order not to be liable for Council Tax. It looks very complex and talks about derelict properties, which is very different to a property that is merely temporarily uninhabitable.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7004
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to update this. I applied for exemption for a property to the local valuations office covering Norfolk. The property is being stripped back to absolute basics, so:
plaster off walls for damp treatment
floorboards up for woodworm treatment
gas boiler and all radiators being removed
all electrics replaced
Bath, toilet and all sinks removed
Water stopcock needing replacement
The only thing it has is an intact roof and walls.

I've just had a reply from the VOA informing me that the property is habitable and will not be taken out from Council tax banding. He disregarded all the photo evidence I sent, looked at the estate agents particulars and because it was habitable when it was sold, basically it's our problem that we've decided to renovate the property. It's built in approx 1870 so needed all this work to ensure the property would last another 40/50 years. Our lucky day then that we get to pay Council Tax whilst we do this. If we could have been bothered, the answer would have been to put furniture in it, put it up for let, get it on business rates and then have it removed from the rating system. Something I gather is easier and more likely to be achievable now than getting a property taken out the Council Tax system.
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Zingara



Joined: 09 Apr 2013
Posts: 584
Location: Antibes, PACA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same response from Shepway...We are about to embark on a similar project in Southwark, and I'm sure the answer will be the same there too...
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 729
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Nemo, how unfair! All the publicity about improving housing stock and this is the thanks that you get!
There does seem to be a very harsh line taken now, with regard to council tax, together with a post code lottery of decisions being made.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7004
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It gets better. I replied to him, shouldn't have bothered but I just wanted to get to the human behind the reply. I just said how no-one I know could live in a property with nothing but four walls and a roof.

Quote:
My decision on this is based has to be based on whether the property is capable of being returned to a condition where it can be lived in and not its current condition.

As the work that you are carrying out is with the intention of having the property occupied then the only decision that I can make is one to retain the property in the Council Tax list.

Irish logic anyone?! So you'll only get taken out if you plan to knock it down it seems but not if you renovate it. Shocked No wonder that's what everyone round our way does and you see beautiful properties, even million pound mansions being knocked down. Save the VAT and the Council Tax and away the developers go. Shocking.
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