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Wayward

Double council tax on empty homes

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https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/april/councils-to-be-handed-powers-to-double-council-tax-on-empty-homes/?utm_source=Emerge&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=547f7f50-382a-4fb2-b66c-9e4859c087fd

 

Councils to be handed powers to double council tax on empty homes

The UK government is introducing legislation designed to bring empty homes back into use by empowering councils to raise the amount of tax they can charge

 

A step in the right direction but not enough...

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I don't agree on this one. Council tax should be to pay for services used by someone living there, it shouldn't be used in this way.

It should be a straight up fine for being a twit after 12months (so it doesn't penalize those refurbishing before moving in, sorting probate etc.)

Edited by Cosmic Apple

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Councils haven't been remotely interested in clamping down on AIR BnB which has been ripping out places that people could actually live in all across the country. So I doubt they are going to go all tough on this one.

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38 minutes ago, Wayward said:

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/april/councils-to-be-handed-powers-to-double-council-tax-on-empty-homes/?utm_source=Emerge&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=547f7f50-382a-4fb2-b66c-9e4859c087fd

 

Councils to be handed powers to double council tax on empty homes

The UK government is introducing legislation designed to bring empty homes back into use by empowering councils to raise the amount of tax they can charge

 

A step in the right direction but not enough...

But but but what about the cash poor, property rich widows who are spending a few weeks/months in a nursing home until they get better?

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17 minutes ago, nome said:

Would a holiday home/holiday let be classed as an empty home??

 

Technically there's nobody living in them.

Dont start on that....

Furnished holiday let taxation needs massive tidy up.

They need to be paying rates with no small buisiness rate relief.

Ive my fingers crossed for spring budget.

They appear to be takign aim a AirBnB. Hopefully they'll sort out FHL too.

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1 minute ago, ccc said:

Councils haven't been remotely interested in clamping down on AIR BnB which has been ripping out places that people could actually live in all across the country. So I doubt they are going to go all tough on this one.

Councils haven;t seen any money in it for them.

Maybe a force to classify AirBnB as business, subject to planning and business rates would do it.

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1 minute ago, spyguy said:

Councils haven;t seen any money in it for them.

Maybe a force to classify AirBnB as business, subject to planning and business rates would do it.

All they have to do is what has happened in New York, Berlin and numerous other places. Air Bnb can only be used if its for spare rooms in a place - as it was originally created. Full property ? Has to be done as per fully registered holiday let business. Job done. They could do it tomorrow if they wanted. Why haven't they when at the same time they are constantly telling us about their housing crisis ?

Same as everything else - they have their fingers in the pie. Couldn't be more obvious.

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I agree with the sentiment but council tax is incoherent. Can we please replace it with land tax. And if we want to further dissuade empty homes have an additional system of fines.

 

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2 hours ago, Cosmic Apple said:

I don't agree on this one. Council tax should be to pay for services used by someone living there, it shouldn't be used in this way.

It should be a straight up fine for being a twit after 12months (so it doesn't penalize those refurbishing before moving in, sorting probate etc.)

Being allowed to tie-up valuable land, for your own exclusive use, is a service - an extremely costly service.

Edited by BuyToLeech

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6 hours ago, TonyJ said:

What is classified as an empty home? CT applies to all owners anyway, regardless of whether a home is occupied or not. And how can it be proved nobody lives there?

that is why the OWNER,not the occupier,should pay it.

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7 hours ago, TonyJ said:

What is classified as an empty home? CT applies to all owners anyway, regardless of whether a home is occupied or not. And how can it be proved nobody lives there?

Smart meter?......bills in general.;)

It has been known that councils check by enquiring with neighbours about property they believe has been empty for a long time.

Edited by winkie

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21 minutes ago, winkie said:

Smart meter?......bills in general.;)

It has been known that councils check by enquiring with neighbours about property they believe has been empty for a long time.

they shouldn't need to should they..it's a waste-of time paper shuffling exercise.

easy solution:

1) ask land registry details of owner.

2)charge them.

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+addendum.

fine,and if it's xyz property management co Ltd.

1)ask land registry details of owner

2)charge them

3)owner can apply for rebate if one is entitled...however I think with multiple properties there should be an escalator,not a rebate.

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3 minutes ago, TonyJ said:

True, power usage would give it away, unless someone had lights etc that came on and off on a timer switch....

you are asking for someone armies of people to play sherlock holmes at £25k p.a each,submit countless reports for other pen pushers to peruse(also on a fair whack),and then decide whether to fine/prosecute(again extra charge to the public purse)

yes I suppose you could use gas/electric consumption,water usage and so on to deduce whether it is being lived in(by more people than stated).....but why should you incur the extra expense of hiring detectives to find out?

 

the same argument holds true for road tax....more cost effective to just add to fuel,but it's a nice job creation exercise of having jobs which provide no tangible benefit to the country.

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4 minutes ago, TonyJ said:

Yeh, but they need to prove the property is empty. Owner could say they stay there.

I'm not discriminating about primary/secondary residences......if land registry say you have 5 properties,you get charged on 5...not 1/5 for each 10 weeks you stay in a property and play musical chairs.

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10 hours ago, Cosmic Apple said:

I don't agree on this one. Council tax should be to pay for services used by someone living there, it shouldn't be used in this way.

It should be a straight up fine for being a twit after 12months (so it doesn't penalize those refurbishing before moving in, sorting probate etc.)

This only applies on long term empty homes - more than 2 years - which are substantially unfurnished. Its easy to avoid - just put some furniture in and make it look liveable in.

Probate properties get a six month council tax exemption as well - if you haven't sorted probate in two and a half years you need to get a  move on!

Putting this into perspective in Westminster this would generate £1400 for a Band H property - less than a week's rent for a Belgravia mansion.

Also council tax is not a tax on service usage but a property tax to pay for local services - why shouldn't it be progressive like national taxation. The biggest proportion of council tax goes on social care and childrens services - on your logic we should just apply a local tax on poor kids and frail elderly people as they use council services the most?!

Edited by MARTINX9

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26 minutes ago, MARTINX9 said:

This only applies on long term empty homes - more than 2 years - which are substantially unfurnished. Its easy to avoid - just put some furniture in and make it look liveable in.

Probate properties get a six month council tax exemption as well - if you haven't sorted probate in two and a half years you need to get a  move on!

Putting this into perspective in Westminster this would generate £1400 for a Band H property - less than a week's rent for a Belgravia mansion.

Also council tax is not a tax on service usage but a property tax to pay for local services - why shouldn't it be progressive like national taxation. The biggest proportion of council tax goes on social care and childrens services - on your logic we should just apply a local tax on poor kids and frail elderly people as they use council services the most?!

..and with "services" such as bin collection being done at half,sometimes 1/3 the frequency they used to, do you not think payers are eligible for a discount?

 

my point being,councils have lots of money to spend on "diversity coordination" etc etc,but not enough for the basics.They need to get their priorities right.

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26 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

Council tax is for services. No residents, no services used, so should be zero council tax...... surely?

hmm.  business rates similar argument.

put the rates too high=no business= no employees= no council tax=no services.

business owners don't have a problem with paying tax for the most part,they just want to spend as little as possible and see it being spent properly.

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8 minutes ago, oracle said:

..and with "services" such as bin collection being done at half,sometimes 1/3 the frequency they used to, do you not think payers are eligible for a discount?

 

my point being,councils have lots of money to spend on "diversity coordination" etc etc,but not enough for the basics.They need to get their priorities right.

I take it you haven't experienced an elderly parent or relative or grandparent going through the social care system. It might give you some perspective.

Council tax's problem it is visible, you get a bill and its taken out of your bank account monthly. Central government collect theirs via retailers/tradespeople and at source via payroll - so its less visible.

I think local authorities do a better job than central government - they have actually had to absorb real cuts in funding!

 

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