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Landlords and Council Tax Exemptions

Landlords and Council Tax Exemptions 

Once was the time that Landlords automatically enjoyed Council Tax exemptions when the rental property was empty for refurbishment or during a void tenancy period. Since April 2013 however Councils have been given the authority to set their own rules around exemption periods. The application and variation of the options taken up by Councils significantly varies from borough to borough. As a maximum the 2013 rulings allow Councils to charge up to 150% of the tax from the first day that the property is empty.

In the normal course of events the Tenant in situ is responsible for registering and paying for the Council Tax which is applicable to the property. This does not however relate to Landlords of HMOs (House of Multiple Occupancy) where the Landlord of the property is liable for the charge.

Tenant and Landlord can also get a 100% exemption if the property is let by full time students. This situation can become complicated however when there are a mix of full time students and also non students sharing the property. In these cases generally a portion of the tax will be payable.

The onus for paying for the Council Tax however falls on the Landlord once the tenant vacates and the property becomes empty. There are ways that Landlords can then avoid paying Council Tax or gaining an exemption. Some councils will still offer exemptions where the property is unoccupied although this has a limit of a maximum of 6 months and a 50% discount can also be applied where the dwelling is unfurnished. This applies to furniture and not White Goods or Kitchen appliances.

Lastly a discount is also available if the you undertake major repairs or structural changes which means the property is uninhabitable. This again can vary but can be offered for up to a maximum of 12 months.

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