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    • Lee274
    • By Lee274 9th Jan 18, 3:23 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Lee274
    Selling house. Want to leave vacant and save money
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:23 PM
    Selling house. Want to leave vacant and save money 9th Jan 18 at 3:23 PM
    Good afternoon all,


    Myself and my wife have decided to sell our house and move to a bungalow because she was seriously ill last year and it left her with some side effects. We are mortgage free


    Our idea is to sell pack all our belongings into storage, and move in with my wifes parents which will enable us to save a bit more as we will have no bills to pay. Electricity, Gas, Water and perhaps even council tax will save us quite a bit of money over 3-6 months and help us to put a bit more into a new house. Even if it saves us £4-5000 it will give us that little more on our next house. Ive looked at storage and we are looking at £100 per month for the first 2 months and £200 per month after. Even with this outlay we can save a lot.


    Are there any charges from the Gas,Elec and Water companies if we do this?? Is there a standing rate?


    Is Council Tax discounted?


    Thanks for any help in advance.


    Regards


    Lee
Page 1
    • CommitedToChange
    • By CommitedToChange 9th Jan 18, 3:36 PM
    • 1,190 Posts
    • 3,804 Thanks
    CommitedToChange
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:36 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:36 PM
    Sorry do you mean sell the house then move in with your parents? If so there will be no charges on your old place as you have sold it.

    Or do you mean leave it empty while you try to sell it - in which case there may be council tax - it depends on your council, you'll need to pay water, gas and electric for whatever is used while it is empty if it's winter you may want to keep the heating on at times to make sure the pipes do't freeze. You'll also have to check your building insurance as some don't allow the properties to be empty for more than 60 days.

    Your post is slightly confusing as to what you are planning to do.
    Attempting to buy a house
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • 6,520 Posts
    • 6,419 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    Are there any charges from the Gas,Elec and Water companies if we do this?? Is there a standing rate?
    Originally posted by Lee274
    Possibly, but we don't know what tariffs you're on - so you'll need to check that yourself.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 9th Jan 18, 3:44 PM
    • 10,192 Posts
    • 5,847 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:44 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:44 PM
    Good afternoon all,


    Myself and my wife have decided to sell our house and move to a bungalow because she was seriously ill last year and it left her with some side effects. We are mortgage free


    Our idea is to sell pack all our belongings into storage, and move in with my wifes parents which will enable us to save a bit more as we will have no bills to pay. Electricity, Gas, Water and perhaps even council tax will save us quite a bit of money over 3-6 months and help us to put a bit more into a new house. Even if it saves us £4-5000 it will give us that little more on our next house. Ive looked at storage and we are looking at £100 per month for the first 2 months and £200 per month after. Even with this outlay we can save a lot.


    Are there any charges from the Gas,Elec and Water companies if we do this?? Is there a standing rate?


    Is Council Tax discounted?


    Thanks for any help in advance.


    Regards


    Lee
    Originally posted by Lee274
    You need to contact the local council re the council tax - if you're in England it's a delegated power and many councils offer a 0% discount on an unoccupied property.
    Last edited by CIS; 09-01-2018 at 3:51 PM.
    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.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 9th Jan 18, 3:49 PM
    • 355 Posts
    • 227 Thanks
    pinklady21
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:49 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:49 PM
    Are you intending leaving the house completely empty and putting all your furniture and other belongings in storage?
    Check out how much storage you might need - probably more than you think. Have you approached an Estate Agent to ask whether there are any implications of selling the house completely empty?
    If you are leaving it furnished, then you will need to insure them, and probably also leave the heating on to prevent the pipes freezing. So not sure how much cash you think you might actually save by moving out and living elsewhere - wherever you live you are going to have to contribute to your living costs, I would have thought.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 9th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    • 5,645 Posts
    • 5,346 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    An average energy bill in the UK is about £1000 to £1500 per year (depending on the size of your house).

    Band D council tax is £1400 per year on average (although band H might be double that).

    So it might be optimistic to expect to save £4k to £5k in 3 to 6 months.

    (As well as the storage costs, there's also the cost of a removal firm - unless you plan to do that yourself.)
    • Lee274
    • By Lee274 9th Jan 18, 3:55 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Lee274
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:55 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:55 PM
    Sorry do you mean sell the house then move in with your parents? If so there will be no charges on your old place as you have sold it.

    Or do you mean leave it empty while you try to sell it - in which case there may be council tax - it depends on your council, you'll need to pay water, gas and electric for whatever is used while it is empty if it's winter you may want to keep the heating on at times to make sure the pipes do't freeze. You'll also have to check your building insurance as some don't allow the properties to be empty for more than 60 days.

    Your post is slightly confusing as to what you are planning to do.
    Originally posted by CommitedToChange

    Sorry, we actually want to move out and start saving whilst the house is being sold. It hasn't sold yet, but we think it could be benficial to move in to my in laws to give us a bit more to spend on a new house.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 9th Jan 18, 4:14 PM
    • 5,645 Posts
    • 5,346 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 4:14 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 4:14 PM
    Sorry, we actually want to move out and start saving whilst the house is being sold. It hasn't sold yet, but we think it could be benficial to move in to my in laws to give us a bit more to spend on a new house.
    Originally posted by Lee274
    In that case - your savings on electricity, gas and water will probably be very small. (You'll still have to pay standing charges.)

    I'd guess that removal and storage costs would be much higher than your savings on bills.

    But you could leave your furniture in the house anyway, until it's sold - you don't need to pay for storage.

    But you will need to check up on insurance. Insuring a house which isn't being lived in is a challenge.
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 9th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 821 Posts
    • 1,658 Thanks
    seashore22
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    I honestly can't see this saving you any money and may even cost you more.

    Advantages:
    Utility bills - you would still have to spend some money especially during the colder months.

    Disadvantages:
    Storage - this will be very expensive for the contents of a whole house.
    Payment to your inlaws to cover extra bills in their house - you don't mention this, but assume you will be paying them something for their kindness.
    Empty houses are more vulnerable to criminals.
    Insurance for an empty house will be tricky.
    Empty houses sometimes take longer to sell.
    Disgruntled inlaws - I would be upset if my child decided that they would do this when they had a perfectly good house to live in and wanted to save a minuscule amount of money.

    There's probably more, but I'm sure others will come up with them.

    Edit - you will need to pay twice to move the same furniture.

    Not sure how real this story is to be honest.
    • Lucky Duck
    • By Lucky Duck 9th Jan 18, 4:59 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Lucky Duck
    .
    Empty houses are more vulnerable to criminals.
    Insurance for an empty house will be tricky.
    Empty houses sometimes take longer to sell..
    Originally posted by seashore22
    All this, plus as noted above you need to either keep the heating system on or arrange for it to be drained to avoid the risk of pipes freezing and causing considerable damaged. (Lesson learnt the hard way)
    • EmmyLou30
    • By EmmyLou30 9th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    EmmyLou30
    I think this is a case of penny pinching too far on the basis of flawed maths. Many councils now punish you with 150% council tax on empty homes to discourage it, or at least not give you a discount. Plus empty house insurance costs a small fortune....personally we paid as much for 3 months of it as the entire year of normal house AND contents insurance. Plus there are many stipulations about draining heating systems, water off, visits every 7 days etc etc. All in all you'll save very little and be a burden on the inlaws while you sponge off them.
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 9th Jan 18, 5:13 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 4,268 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    Years back, we once moved abroad and left the house empty for a year. Wasn't too bad at all. Different times.

    Two years ago I left a house empty for just over a year. This was a well maintained house in a good community and the neighbours were fine with it.
    The insurance was very high and towards the end of the year, the council started sniffing around it. The language they were using made me wonder whether they were exploring the possibility of legal possession proceedings. I don't know if that's a thing but they seemed to be taking a big interest in it.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 9th Jan 18, 6:46 PM
    • 5,774 Posts
    • 5,222 Thanks
    00ec25
    the average housebuyer is totally flummoxed when viewing a property that has no furniture in it because they are unable to imagine how a room looks or works without seeing a bed or a sofa in the room

    you may find an empty property takes longer to sell and fetches a lower price. That will probably instantly wipe out any council tax saving you made, and certainly wipe out utility bill savings because you'll need to leave them on anyway so viewers can see a tap running, flush the toilet, and feel the heat from the heating
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 9th Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    • 6,152 Posts
    • 7,917 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Even if a property still has furniture in, if it's empty it can often feel much less homely / welcoming - low/no heating means the house feels chilly, it can start to be a but musty, any latent damp problems may resurface etc.

    If the house has an unlived in / unloved feel then you may find that it is harder to sell it, and/or that any offers are lower, so you may find this offsets any potential savings.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 9th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    • 15,464 Posts
    • 21,149 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    From a buyer's point of view, an empty house is a sitting duck which will attract LOWER offers as it smells of desparation, so you may save £4-£5k living with your inlaws, but it could cost you more than this in lower offers on your house.

    Most house insurance won't permit it being vacant for more than 30 days (so you would need special insurance to cover an empty building).

    Risk of squatters? Vandelism?

    Not to mention having to live with your inlaws... (do they live in a mansion???).

    The whole thing could end up costing you more than you save.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 9th Jan 18, 8:06 PM
    • 1,030 Posts
    • 1,106 Thanks
    Mutton Geoff

    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    Originally posted by pinkshoes



    Desparation = desperation

    Vandelism = vandalism
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    People in glass houses ...

    From a buyer's point of view, an empty house is a sitting duck which will attract LOWER offers as it smells of desparation, so you may save £4-£5k living with your inlaws, but it could cost you more than this in lower offers on your house.

    Most house insurance won't permit it being vacant for more than 30 days (so you would need special insurance to cover an empty building).

    Risk of squatters? Vandelism?

    Not to mention having to live with your inlaws... (do they live in a mansion???).

    The whole thing could end up costing you more than you save.
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    Last edited by Mutton Geoff; 09-01-2018 at 8:08 PM.
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    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 9th Jan 18, 8:12 PM
    • 7,899 Posts
    • 8,491 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    From a buyer's point of view, an empty house is a sitting duck which will attract LOWER offers as it smells of desperation, so you may save £4-£5k living with your inlaws, but it could cost you more than this in lower offers on your house.

    Most house insurance won't permit it being vacant for more than 30 days (so you would need special insurance to cover an empty building).

    Risk of squatters? Vandalism?

    Not to mention having to live with your inlaws... (do they live in a mansion???).

    The whole thing could end up costing you more than you save.
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    I'd say close but ;
    (a) there's no way they will save anywhere near £5k (or what grounds did the OP think they would, where are these savings coming from, a little bit of gas and electric traded off against storing an entire houses contents for months??
    (b)They will attract low ball offers from people seeing an empty house and thinking "desperate sellers"
    (c) they will lose a lot more than they might save, though i dont think they'd save anything anyway so it will be a perfect lose-lose storm.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 9th Jan 18, 8:14 PM
    • 10,192 Posts
    • 5,847 Thanks
    CIS
    I think this is a case of penny pinching too far on the basis of flawed maths. Many councils now punish you with 150% council tax on empty homes to discourage it
    Originally posted by EmmyLou30
    Only once it's been unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more.
    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.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 9th Jan 18, 8:31 PM
    • 15,464 Posts
    • 21,149 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    People in glass houses ...
    Originally posted by Mutton Geoff

    We're talking spelling, not grammar! Apples and oranges...

    (and I shall plea sleep deprivation for my terrible spelling)
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • spendinglikemad
    • By spendinglikemad 9th Jan 18, 8:34 PM
    • 232 Posts
    • 1,542 Thanks
    spendinglikemad
    So, we moved out of our house and left ours as vacant possession to sell after we moved out to our new property.

    Our costs are full council tax, energy standing charges plus we are not using as much - so has reduced to £30 per month for gas and electric. Water allowed us to stop the account as they could see we were at another property - this was good of them as I had assumed we would continue to pay £20 per month, then insurance is required and I have to check the house regularly (weekly). So you need to calculate if its worth it - luckily for us a buyer could see the potential empty (it must have been our furniture putting people off before!!) having said that we got some low offers from some potential buyers trying their luck that we needed to sell (we didn't)

    SLM
    Family of 4 plus cat!
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