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Council tax- to pay or not to pay

(23 Posts)
M2676 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:30:00

DH's job requires us to move evry 3 years,we have a house on mortgage sitting empty fr the past two years and we have letters coming in frm the council asking us to pay its council tax or face court, we paying tax for the rented house that we live in now,its just doing my head in having to pay 2 council taxes n having other bills to pay. Can i pay tax fr just the current one? Please has anyone come across this situation b4?Ty

dancemom Fri 05-Feb-16 21:31:50

You can apply for exemption but some councils put a time limit on it to avoid having run down abandoned or empty properties in a town so it would only be exempt for 6 months or a year.

Could you rent it out?

Penfold007 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:32:16

If you own an unoccupied house you are legally obliged to pay council tax. Why not rent it out?

Akire Fri 05-Feb-16 21:33:20

If your struggling for money why on earth are you not renting out the house?

Wombatinabathhat Fri 05-Feb-16 21:34:31

You must pay it. It used to be that you didn't have to pay on an empty house but that changed a few years ago in my area. When Dbil died his house was empty but the ct still had to be paid. Council tax debt will haunt you forever and they are serious

Chorltonswheelies422 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:35:13

If you own both houses, you have to pay. Some councils offer a discount on the second. You should check with your council. There is criteria for not paying but it varies, e g if it's derelict and uninhabitable. If it's sitting empty, can you rent it out? Then the tenant would pay.

LIZS Fri 05-Feb-16 21:37:08

You have to pay whether property is occupied or not. Ct is a priority debt and you could easily find yourselves with a ccj or bailiffs at the door. If you can't afford to run the house either let or sell.

M2676 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:37:39

Signed up for a letting company to take care of it from last year while we were in Germany,theyv been billing us with renovations after renovations, until now they said theyv advertised n people still coming to sight the house but will inform us if someones interested

M2676 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:37:59

Signed up for a letting company to take care of it from last year while we were in Germany,theyv been billing us with renovations after renovations, until now they said theyv advertised n people still coming to sight the house but will inform us if someones interested-its been a year nw

willowsummers Fri 05-Feb-16 21:39:23

I am afraid you absolutely do have to pay council tax, though there is a reduction if the property is unfurnished.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Fri 05-Feb-16 21:39:23

If you do choose to rent it out, be aware that from next April, you'll start to be taxed on the entire rental income (being phased in over 4 years). So depending on the ratio of mortgage interest to rent, you could lose money by renting it out.

bb888 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:42:42

Maybe its worth looking for another agent? At least if you can get it rented out you will stop having to pay council tax and utility bills, in addition to whatever the rental income is after tax.

EssexMummy1234 Fri 05-Feb-16 23:12:50

I think you can go to prison for non-payment of council tax.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Feb-16 12:44:45

You have to pay, it's the one bill they can get really nasty about.

sooperdooper Sat 06-Feb-16 12:48:25

Change letting agents - theyre useless if they haven't got you a tenant and yes the council tax needs to be paid

dancemom Sat 06-Feb-16 12:57:36

You cannot go to prison for non payment of Council Tax

Penfold007 Sat 06-Feb-16 17:10:05

You can be sent to prison for up to 3 months if the court decides you don’t have a good reason to not pay your Council Tax and you refuse to do so.

www.gov.uk/council-tax-arrears

VodkaValiumLattePlease Sat 06-Feb-16 17:19:40

Yes you have to pay the council tax, the reason they decided to charge for empty houses is to encourage owners to not leave them empty. The bills just going to get higher then they'll slap on a £70 summons charge when they take you to court.

specialsubject Sun 07-Feb-16 19:24:01

yes, the point is to discourage empty houses.

leaving a house empty for 3 years must be wrecking it. And how on earth are you getting insurance?

rent it out. Get property guardians. Get house sitters.

LettingAgentNightmare Sun 21-Feb-16 12:40:24

If no one is renting it after this long, your rent is too high.

And yes, you absolutely need to pay council tax.

BumpAndGrind Sun 21-Feb-16 13:07:28

Houses don't just 'sit empty'. They start to decay. Get tenants in or sell it.

You need to pay the council tax but might get a reduction or short exemption if it's empty.

Stripyhoglets Wed 24-Feb-16 22:40:08

Yes you have to pay it legally, you will end up with court orders /charging orders and bailiff costs if you don't sort it out.

Stillunexpected Wed 24-Feb-16 22:54:42

Yes, you absolutely have to pay the Council Tax on both houses. If you haven't paid it for two years I'm amazed that the Council haven't handed it over to bailiffs in which case you will have their costs on top as well.

If the agents haven't rented the house out after two years then either they are crap, the rent is too high or the house is in some way problematic or in a very dodgy area. If the agents are at fault, sack them and get some new ones, if he rent is too high - drop it, as another poster said it will start to deteriorate rapidly if it is empty - also it is insured after being empty for so long? If there is some fixable problem with the house preventing it renting, like the decor, then fix that because whatever money you spend it better than letting it decay.

Finally, what the hell renovations are the agents doing on an empty house? And what is your agreement with them - surely they should seek your approval before undertaking any works?

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