Landlords Say Paying Council Tax On Empty Properties Is Unfair

Landlords Say Paying Council Tax On Empty Properties Is Unfair

NLA Campaigns For Landlord Council Tax Exemptions

Currently, the liability of private rented sector landlords to pay council tax for their unoccupied rental properties varies from region to region across the UK. Some local councils do not allow exceptions from their normal rules and even if a rental property is unoccupied, the landlord must pay council tax.

This does not even begin to become fair in any way, shape or form as the rental properties are not financially draining council funds, nor are they a burden on any other council run services as bins are not being emptied and there should be no need for any of the emergency services to be called upon.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) have recently been contacting all UK local authorities to request council tax exemptions for private rental sector landlords whose rental properties become empty between tenancies.

The task is being carried out by the NLA’s 37 regional representatives who operate across the UK in order to campaign at a local level.

Many local authorities will soon to be drafting their budget proposals for the next financial year, and the NLA are keen to negotiate the much needed council tax exemptions for landlords now.NLA chairman, Carolyn Uphill, said: “We have to remember that landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure the property they provide is safe and fit to be occupied and often essential maintenance or even larger scale renovation work may be needed before the property is suitable for new tenants. We often hear that more should be done to improve the standard of private rented property, yet councils still insist on making landlords liable for council tax between tenancies which is simply another business cost that the landlord is faced with. The NLA believe that councils must play their part by allowing a reasonable exemption period of council tax. This would demonstrate they are serious about encouraging better standards in the sector and mean landlords won’t rush to re let their properties without first ensuring they are up to scratch.”

LegalAs a landlord with 2 empty properties, I have already been prosecuted by one local authority, in my absence I may add, for council tax liability for 2015, which is quite good considering we are still in 2014 and liability does not start until 31st March 2015.

I have pointed this out to the local authority and was issued with a verbal apology; however I am still waiting for written confirmation that this bogus prosecution has been quashed.

UK landlords are forced to pay local authorities for services that are not likely to be used when rental properties become empty, that is on top of the mortgage payments and repair and maintenance costs.

Should rental properties fall below what the local authorities deem to be an acceptable standard then the landlord also becomes liable for prosecution under the environmental health act, which ignores tenant damage or behaviour and makes the landlord liable.

Why is it acceptable to make landlords pay for services they do not receive and why prosecute when the guilty tenants are allowed to escape scot free?

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