Mandatory Council Tax Breaks on Empty Properties may be Abolished

02 August 2012 Categories: News

Mandatory Council Tax Breaks on Empty Properties may be Abolished

The Class C exemption that provides a mandatory six month council tax break on empty properties looks set to be abolished if the government has its way. At the present time any Class C property, which are more often than not empty properties that remain unfurnished, can benefit from a six month tax break, after which full council tax becomes payable. If the government proposal goes ahead though all properties will become liable for council tax at all times, although the amount charged while the property remains empty would be set by each individual council. Some may choose to forgo the charges while others will undoubtedly choose to charge 100% of the normal amount.

The result of such a change could be catastrophic for small scale landlords who struggle during void periods as it is. Add to their burden the payment of council tax and the country could see thousands of private rental sector landlords drummed out of business.

Ian Sanford, of Pennington Homes, in Huntingdon, said: “With local authority finances under pressure in the present recession it is more than likely that authorities will choose not to grant council tax-free periods, which will have major financial implications for landlords and vendors alike.

“In addition, it will provide an additional administrative burden for letting agents in that they will have to advise local authorities of all vacant periods, most of which are often only of a duration of a few days. It is also likely that, in these cases, it will cost the local authority more to collect the small amounts than the additional revenue achieved.”