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Thread: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice please.

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  1. #1
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    Default Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice please.

    My husband and I took the tenancy on a council flat owned by Devon and Cornwall Housing (DCH
    Cornwall Council allow you a 100% discount for 1 month if you are unable to move in. (We live in a caravan at present and have to sell the caravan in order to move in and furnish the flat)
    We applied for the discount and received the following reply:-


    I note in your move details that you want to apply for help in the first month, unfortunately the 1 month empty and unoccupied discount that is a 100% discount from Council Tax cannot be applied in this case as it is a discount that is awarded to a property and not the residents. Therefore as the previous occupier had the property as empty before you they received the 1 month discount and now full council tax charge.


    I responded


    I applied for the 1 month discount as a tenant and as the property was empty. DCH were in the flat for 3/4 weeks cleaning and decorating and not responsible for Council Tax. They were simply decorating and repairing the flat. Please could you re-check if we are eligible as I believe the last tenant passed away.



    This is their response.


    With regards to Devon and Cornwall Housing being made liable for the Council Tax, we have to make them liable in between tenants tenancies as they are the owners of the property and are therefore responsible for paying the Council Tax for the periods when the property is empty. Therefore they have been made liable at your flat from when the previous tenants tenancy ended to when your tenancy started.

    Secondly and to clarify, we did have to make Devon and Cornwall Housing liable for the Council Tax prior to your moving into the property as the previous tenants tenancy end date ceased. Therefore the property was empty and unfurnished prior to you moving in.

    Any help with this debate would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice pleas

    tagging @Crazy council ??
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

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    Default Re: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice pleas

    Thank you but im not sure what you want me to do next Kati?

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    Default Re: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRita22 View Post
    Thank you but im not sure what you want me to do next Kati?
    I've tagged someone who should be able to assist ... all you have to do is sit back and wait for him to comment xx
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is kati@legalbeagles.info
    But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

    Specialist advice can be sought via our sister site JustBeagle

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    Default Re: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice pleas

    Oh brilliant thanks Kati

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    Default Re: Can the council be responsible for council tax on an empty property? Advice pleas

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRita22 View Post
    My husband and I took the tenancy on a council flat owned by Devon and Cornwall Housing (DCH
    Cornwall Council allow you a 100% discount for 1 month if you are unable to move in. (We live in a caravan at present and have to sell the caravan in order to move in and furnish the flat)
    We applied for the discount and received the following reply:-


    I note in your move details that you want to apply for help in the first month, unfortunately the 1 month empty and unoccupied discount that is a 100% discount from Council Tax cannot be applied in this case as it is a discount that is awarded to a property and not the residents. Therefore as the previous occupier had the property as empty before you they received the 1 month discount and now full council tax charge.


    I responded


    I applied for the 1 month discount as a tenant and as the property was empty. DCH were in the flat for 3/4 weeks cleaning and decorating and not responsible for Council Tax. They were simply decorating and repairing the flat. Please could you re-check if we are eligible as I believe the last tenant passed away.



    This is their response.


    With regards to Devon and Cornwall Housing being made liable for the Council Tax, we have to make them liable in between tenants tenancies as they are the owners of the property and are therefore responsible for paying the Council Tax for the periods when the property is empty. Therefore they have been made liable at your flat from when the previous tenants tenancy ended to when your tenancy started.

    Secondly and to clarify, we did have to make Devon and Cornwall Housing liable for the Council Tax prior to your moving into the property as the previous tenants tenancy end date ceased. Therefore the property was empty and unfurnished prior to you moving in.

    Any help with this debate would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you
    The council, as owners or tenants of a property, still fall liable for council tax on a property in the same way as anyone else and can claim the same discounts and exemptions.

    The council are correct in that the reduction applies to the property and doesn't rest just on the the owners/tenants - the idea is to stop discounts & exemptions from being claimed multiple times by transferring ownership (it does happen a lot ion some cases ! - I used to deal with one family who would regularly transfer properties amongst themselves).

    If the discount was used by the housing company and there hasn't be a break in the period of 6 weeks or more in the qualifying conditions then the discount cannot be claimed again.

    Craig / lgfa92

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