Council Tax changes for empty rental homes | CPS Homes

Council Tax changes for empty rental homes

On Monday April 1, local authorities were given the discretion to charge full Council Tax on empty properties, which is likely to bring added burdens to landlords.

The Government has introduced several changes to Council Tax as part of Welfare Reform. The changes will reduce or remove many exemptions and discounts on council tax, including those on furnished and unfurnished properties for rent.

The changes are as follows:

  • Class A exemption is abolished on properties having major repairs for up to 6 months. Councils can decide whether to award a local discount instead.
  • Class C exemption is abolished on properties that are empty and unfurnished for up to 6 months. As with class A, councils can choose whether to award a local discount instead.
  • On homes that have been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more, councils can choose to charge an extra premium of up to 50%.
  • Reduction from 10% to 0% on the minimum discount that councils can give for second homes and other homes that aren’t a ‘sole or main residence’, such as unoccupied furnished flats.

Different councils can choose to implement the changes in different ways. Cardiff Council has not announced the details of how they will implement them – we will update with this information when we have it.

Many of the Government’s Welfare Reforms have proved controversial, with critics attacking the so-called “Bedroom Tax”. In Cardiff, about 200 people demonstrated against the changes to the benefits system on Saturday. The Government argues the changes make the system fairer. 

03 April 2013

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