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  • FIRST POST
    • Al44
    • By Al44 11th Oct 17, 8:39 PM
    • 21Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Al44
    Help with a family members over due council tax bill
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:39 PM
    Help with a family members over due council tax bill 11th Oct 17 at 8:39 PM
    So a family member of mine has ran up a huge council tax bill for a property she owns in another part of the country, she doesn't live there and intended on renting it out.

    The problem is that the roof fell in 2 and half years ago, and it's been empty. She's struggling like crazy financially.

    I came across an advert promoting a government scheme saying that it's possible to get 75-80% of council tax debt written off.

    This forum won't let me post the link

    Is it real or a scam ?
Page 1
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • 1,298 Posts
    • 63,150 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    Roof fell in - that means no roof so the property is uninhabitable.

    She needs to contact the council anjd tell them when the roof fell in and she may well find there is no liability for the tax.

    There used to be 100% exemption for business rates if the commercial building concerned had no roof and in the last economic downturn many businesses removed rooves from their buildings in order to benefit from this.

    She needs to ask the council if a similar scheme exists for dwellings.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 12th Oct 17, 7:16 AM
    • 12,714 Posts
    • 12,052 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:16 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:16 AM
    Roof fell in - that means no roof so the property is uninhabitable.

    She needs to contact the council anjd tell them when the roof fell in and she may well find there is no liability for the tax.

    There used to be 100% exemption for business rates if the commercial building concerned had no roof and in the last economic downturn many businesses removed rooves from their buildings in order to benefit from this.

    She needs to ask the council if a similar scheme exists for dwellings.
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    It does, but just for one calendar month as far as I am aware.

    CIS is the man to ask.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
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    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Oct 17, 10:27 AM
    • 10,125 Posts
    • 5,800 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:27 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:27 AM
    I'll drop in my reply later.

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Oct 17, 12:32 PM
    • 10,125 Posts
    • 5,800 Thanks
    CIS
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 12:32 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 12:32 PM
    So a family member of mine has ran up a huge council tax bill for a property she owns in another part of the country, she doesn't live there and intended on renting it out.

    The problem is that the roof fell in 2 and half years ago, and it's been empty. She's struggling like crazy financially.

    I came across an advert promoting a government scheme saying that it's possible to get 75-80% of council tax debt written off.

    This forum won't let me post the link

    Is it real or a scam ?
    Originally posted by Al44
    It's not a government scheme as such - it's a process that's enabled by legislation. The 'government schemes' they talk about involve either an IVA, a DRO or bankruptcy. None of these things should be entered easily and depend on more than just having council tax arrears.

    None of the options are, for council tax purposes, a complete answer going forward. The most they will do is to potentially sort the arrears and the charge to the end of the current tax year. The exact position depends on the type of 'scheme' used and the exact personal and financial situation.

    A damaged roof may allow a property to be removed from the council tax band - the decisions rests with the valuation office / Scottish assessors and is based on the level of damage.

    If the property cannot be removed from the council tax then there doesn't appear to be any relevant exemption which would apply as the property has been empty too long (the Class A exemption, and it's replacement discount, is limited to 12 months - that period would have likely have started 2 1/2 years ago). The property by now should be subject to a long term empty premium, unless it was left furnished.

    Consider also asking for a section 13A reduction (in England and Wales).
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • National Debtline
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 4:20 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 4:20 PM
    Hi Al44,


    CIS has given some great information above that can be looked into to see if the bill can be amended. However, are you able to post some more details of the family members situation at the moment so we can start to look at options to deal with the debt? How much is owed on this debt and what action has the council taken, if any, at this point to recover the money?


    If she has been contacted by bailiffs, received notice of an attachment of earnings order or been notified of a charge on her other property then she should try and get more advice from one of the free debt charities ASAP. There is information available online about council tax debt that may help - https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/council-tax-recovery/counciltaxdebt.aspx


    Laura
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
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