Landlords call for Council Tax Relief on empty homes

Private  landlords are calling on Ministers to instruct local authorities that they should not charge council tax on rented homes left empty because of the coronavirus.

A significant number of rented homes have been left empty because tenants have been unable to take up tenancies, or have chosen to move out to be closer to family during the lockdown.

During this period landlords will become liable for the council tax on the property and have no realistic prospect of finding new tenants.

The National Residential Landlords Association is asking the Government to tell councils that they should exempt houses have been left empty as a result of the virus from council tax demands.

A recent survey by the NRLA found that 41 per cent of landlords are concerned about having to cover the unexpected costs of utility bills and council tax.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said:

“It is manifestly unfair for landlords to be asked to pay council tax on properties which are empty, and likely to remain so, because of the impact of the pandemic.

“Whilst we remain supportive of the measures taken so far by the Government, landlords are being asked to absorb more costs at a time when they are least able.

“Unlike most small businesses and the self-employed, there has been no direct support package announced for landlords.

“Removing this unnecessary burden would at least help those landlords who are struggling to cope with drastically reduced income.”

 

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5 Comments

  1. Will2

    Councils are extorting a tax on something government has prevented use of.  It is not equitable. If government expect people to comply with the law it must be equitable.  Under the old system of rateable values I would suggest a zero rateable value would apply to empty property government are not permitting to be rented as it has no rental value.  MPs are fudging the issue at the moment.

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  2. wilberforce80

    Councils are complaining already about lack of funds to provide essential services. A few weeks ago Norwich City Council bought a Travelodge Hotel in Essex for £63m, which they considered a good investment of taxpayers’ funds. I wonder how that has worked for them? It now stands empty and they are presumably paying business rates to Essex from Norwich taxpayers. I don’t expect their support for landlords.

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    1. Will2

      It is inappropriate for councils to be speculative property investors or developers of anything NOT DIRECTLY related to running their duties. Ie own their offices, Provide council housing etc in my opinion.  

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  3. PaulG18

    Landlords have been treated very unfairly. They pay full tax on their income – but have been given no relief by any of the government schemes.

    This is particularly hard on the smaller landlords where the tenants are not paying the rent – which is a high proportion of landlords.

    Landlords with empty properties should certainly be given council tax relief

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  4. Ian Narbeth

    Even worse some Councils charge 50% to 100% extra for empty properties. So a landlord whose tenants have left may pay twice the Council Tax of the family with 4 children in a similar house in the same street.

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