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Council Tax, Second Home Premium

 
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BargeeSpud



Joined: 08 Feb 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Council Tax, Second Home Premium Reply with quote

Hiya,

Just been sent a letter from my council to inform me that from April 2018, I will be subjected to their Council Tax Second Home Premium at the rate of 150% of the usual Council Tax for my property because it isn't "registered as my main rsidence". Seeing as its the only house I own, I find this a touch weird as I didn't realise that when you buy a house there is a requirement to register it with the council as a main residence, I assume this is a given. I split my time between the house & my boat, i.e., I use the house in winter & cruise during summer during which time, I supplement my income by renting the house out whilst I'm not there.

A lot of people do this I'm sure, whether they are fellow boaters or other retirees like myself who jet off during the winter to warmer climes. I'm starting to feel as though I'm about to be punished for enjoying my retirement in the manner I want to.

I don't want to shoot myself in the foot & lumber myself with unnecessary extra council tax or business rates on top of CT, in other words make a seemingly bad situation even worse. I'm not looking to dodge my responsibilities, so before I get into discussions with the council over this, I'd like to ask whether anyone else has had this sort of thing happen to them & how did you deal with it?
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SusanMay



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 52
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must be in Wales then? I would have thought that your house doesn't fit the second home definition anyway so you could probably make a case to have this overturned. Having said this you could consider business rates instead if your house is available to let 140 days and actually let 70 (that's if you are in Wales). With small business tax relief it currently means we don't pay anything, although you do need to sort out waste disposal yourself.
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BargeeSpud



Joined: 08 Feb 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SusanMay wrote:
You must be in Wales then? I would have thought that your house doesn't fit the second home definition anyway so you could probably make a case to have this overturned. Having said this you could consider business rates instead if your house is available to let 140 days and actually let 70 (that's if you are in Wales). With small business tax relief it currently means we don't pay anything, although you do need to sort out waste disposal yourself.


Thanks for the response.

Spot on in your observation there, I am indeed in Wales, North to be precise. That's an interesting potential route to go down which I will look into in greater depth.

Having thought about this some more, I have just realised there could be a potential problem for me in all this should the council deem it to be relevant, although I don't see how it could possibly be relevant. I also co-own some business premises from which I receive a rent for my share, although, being business premises makes it impossible for me to live them anyway. Maybe I'm seeing ghosts, I don't know.

Anyway, thanks again for your input, it's appreciated.
Ade.

**Edited to add**:

Sorry, should've asked, with regard to business rates, should I assume that if I were to go down that route, the business rates would be charged as well as my council tax & not instead of?
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In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer, so keep you face towards the sun & the shadows will fall behind you.

All dentists are bar stewards.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 322
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's worth checking if you are eligible for business rates. These replace council tax, you don't pay both. And as SusanMay says, you may be eligible for small business rate relief, in which case you currently pay nothing except a private contractor to collect the rubbish. It's certainly worth checking out if you fit the criteria.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 328
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giraffe wrote:
except a private contractor to collect the rubbish.


Some councils do it as a chargeable service. Worth checking, for continuity of service, before going down the route of working out how you would fit in with a private contractor's collection process.
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amandajane



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 165
Location: South hams, devon

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We pay just short of 200 to remain on the household waste system.
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BargeeSpud



Joined: 08 Feb 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses, a couple of tips worth exploring methinks.

If I sound a bit unsure about business rates, its because when I worked from home before retiring, I had to pay business rates for the portion of my home that was used solely for business as I was making & selling stuff. This I would hope would be different. I think a chat with the accountant would be worth having.

Thanks again, but if there's anything else, I'd appreciate it.
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In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer, so keep you face towards the sun & the shadows will fall behind you.

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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 322
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Russellt, you're right, my mistake. I had forgotten that some councils allow you to pay for rubbish collections. Unfortunately Cornwall CC don't. To me they are losing a business opportunity which would be advantageous to taxpayers in these days of austerity. My private contractor charges 23 per collection of one wheelie rubbish bin and one glass bin, plus the annual registration fee. On the other hand it provides jobs for local people.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7005
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if you don't go down the business rate route, you can surely challenge the extra premium as a second home owner? You live there after all and it's your main residence. If you choose to go and live on a boat and rent it out for part of the time that's not enough to make it a second home. Imagine otherwise all the people that spend several months of the year over the winter in warmer climes; their homes don't suddenly become second home during that time.

You've plenty of time to decide about whether you fulfil the business rate criteria and if there are any long term repercussions, but I'd get the Council Tax changed immediately.
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BargeeSpud



Joined: 08 Feb 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo wrote:
Even if you don't go down the business rate route, you can surely challenge the extra premium as a second home owner? You live there after all and it's your main residence. If you choose to go and live on a boat and rent it out for part of the time that's not enough to make it a second home. Imagine otherwise all the people that spend several months of the year over the winter in warmer climes; their homes don't suddenly become second home during that time.

You've plenty of time to decide about whether you fulfil the business rate criteria and if there are any long term repercussions, but I'd get the Council Tax changed immediately.


Thanks Nemo, those are very good points which I will probably end up following in the end. As you say, I have plenty of time. The point regarding those who over winter in warmer climes echo's my own thinking, especially as lots of other retired boaters quit their homes for the summer, some of them will also rent their homes out whilst cruising.

I could simply do as you say & "register" the house as my sole residence, but I want to know the thinking behind the council making the decision to charge me this premium, so I've set the ball rolling. I've emailed asking them to explain why they sent me this letter in the first place, why they wrote to me at an address they were never given by me & why there seems to be a requirement to "register" my house as a sole residence when I've never had to do this with any of my previous houses.

As an interesting aside, within a week of completing on my house, I got a letter from the council asking me to consider renting it out to council tenants! Bizarre.
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Ade. (as in lemonade)

In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer, so keep you face towards the sun & the shadows will fall behind you.

All dentists are bar stewards.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 322
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an interesting aside, within a week of completing on my house, I got a letter from the council asking me to consider renting it out to council tenants! Bizarre.[/quote]

I wonder if your current predicament has something to do with previous ownership of the house. Was it let out to tenants? If so, it may be that the council is working on out of date information. And/or one part of the council doesn't know what another part is doing?
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BargeeSpud



Joined: 08 Feb 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giraffe wrote:
As an interesting aside, within a week of completing on my house, I got a letter from the council asking me to consider renting it out to council tenants! Bizarre.


I wonder if your current predicament has something to do with previous ownership of the house. Was it let out to tenants? If so, it may be that the council is working on out of date information. And/or one part of the council doesn't know what another part is doing?[/quote]

That is a possibility I guess, the house was empty although it looked like it had been lived in by an older, slightly disabled person & had been exempt from council tax during the sale. When we completed, we agreed with the council to allow the exemption to run out naturally as we had some renovation work to do & we started paying the council tax shortly before the house was in a state to move into.
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Ade. (as in lemonade)

In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer, so keep you face towards the sun & the shadows will fall behind you.

All dentists are bar stewards.
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