Advice needed please! We bought and moved into a house in November that was previously empty for 19 years (owner in nursing home), according to multiple neighbours and the estate agent. It needs general updating, cosmetic and building repairs, however we've moved in while we renovate it. I've found out about a VAT scheme which reduces services bills to 5% if the house has been empty for 2 years or more.
Problem is proving it! The local council empty homes officer has been very unhelpful to say the least, and according to her even an absence on the electoral register will not be enough. The house was never reported empty to the council as it wasn't causing a problem and the neighbours knew the situation of the owner. So how can I prove it? We also moved in as we can't afford to both rent and renovate, will this count against us? We have some big costs to cover so every penny counts. Has anyone any experience of successfully claiming this?