Council Tax discount/exemption changes

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  • #45576
    chrisb
    Participant

    It has recently been pointed out to us that there is a significant difference between the treatment of Class C empty properties between the Exempt Dwellings Order and the new position in the Prescribed Classes of Dwellings Order.

     

    The Exempt Dwellings Order says:

    For the purposes of Classes A and C of article 3.

    (a) a dwelling is vacant on any day if on the day …

    (b) in considering whether a dwelling has been vacant for any period, any one period, not exceeding six weeks, during which it was not vacant shall be disregarded.

     

    However the Prescribed Classes order only says:

    For the purposes of Class D—

    (a)a dwelling is vacant on any day if on the day…

    (b)in considering whether a dwelling has been vacant for any period, any one period, not exceeding six weeks, during which it was not vacant shall be disregarded.

     

    Does anyone know if we have the power to add a similar condition to class C discounts, or are we stuck with the possibility of someone moving in for a week, and thus resetting the empty time to zero and re-qualifying for the class C discount?

    #128279
    elainewhittaker
    Participant

    I am just dealing with the same issue. Our advice from our legal team is that if we wish to include this in our prescribed scheme, then we will need to take this back to full council as per the LGFA 1992 s.67(2) which refers to functions exercisable by the authority and not a committee.So our opinion is that we can add a condition, but it will need to be agreed by council.

    #128284
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    This is some text prepared for me by a colleague (he isn’t here today so can’t clarify but it might help:

    Changes to Council Tax Regulations
    Statutory Instrument 2964/2012

    This SI amends the The Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings) (England) Regulations 2003 which prescribes the classes of empty dwellings and the amount of discount that these can be offered. It comes into effect from 1 April 2013.

    Instead of the previous 3 classes, there will now be six types of unoccupied dwellings, which attract differing levels of discount. These are:

    Class A – Holiday Homes
    (a) which is not the sole or main residence of an individual;
    (b) which is furnished; and
    (c) the occupation of which is restricted by a planning condition preventing occupancy for a continuous period of at least 28 days in the relevant year;

    The discount offered to these properties can now be reduced to 0%

    Class B – Empty and furnished
    (a) which is not the sole or main residence of an individual;
    (b) which is furnished; and
    (c) the occupation of which is not restricted by a planning condition preventing occupancy for a continuous period of at least 28 days in the relevant year;

    The discount offered to these properties can now be reduced to 0%

    Class C – Empty and unfurnished
    (a) which is unoccupied; and
    (b) which is substantially unfurnished.

    The charge on these properties can now be between 0% and 100%, however it will no longer be preceded by a Class C exemption.

    Class D – Empty and unfurnished and needing/undergoing major/structural work
    (a) which satisfies the requirement set out in paragraph (b) unless it has been such a dwelling for a continuous period of twelve months or more ending immediately before the day in question;
    (b) the requirement referred to in paragraph (a) is that the dwelling is vacant and—
    (i) requires or is undergoing major repair work to render it habitable, or
    (ii) is undergoing structural alteration; or
    (iii) has undergone major repair work to render it habitable, if less than six months have elapsed since the date on which the alteration was substantially completed and the dwelling has continuously remained vacant since that date;
    (c) for the purposes of paragraph (b) above “major repair work” includes structural repair work.

    The charge on these properties can now be between 0% to 100% however it will no longer be preceded by a Class A exemption.

    Class E – Armed forces

    (a) is the sole or main residence of an individual where that individual is a qualifying person in relation to another dwelling provided by the Secretary of State for Defence for the purposes of armed forces accommodation, and which for that individual is job-related; or
    (b) would be the sole or main residence of an individual if that individual were not a qualifying person in relation to another dwelling provided by the Secretary of State for Defence for the purposes of armed forces accommodation, and which for that individual is job-related.

    Cannot charge empty homes premium on a property which is empty because a member of the armed forces is required to live elsewhere as part of their work.

    Class F – Annexes

    (a) which forms part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling; and
    (b) which is being used by a resident of that other dwelling, or as the case may be, one of those other dwellings, as part of their sole or main residence.

    Cannot charge an empty homes premium on annexes of a property which is being used as a sole main residence.

    Statutory Instrument 2965/2012

    This SI amends the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992. It does away with Class A and Class C exemptions. It comes into effect from 1 April 2013.

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