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MSE News: Got an annexe? Check if you're due a council tax discount

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Cutting Tax
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Former_MSE_PalomaFormer_MSE_Paloma
531 posts
I've been Money Tipped! Newshound!
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Cutting Tax
More than 2,400 homes have claimed a council tax discount for having a self-contained 'granny flat', can you? ...
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Got an annexe? Check if you're due a council tax discount

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  • Martin writes: "The relative living in the annexe cannot be a dependent. This means the relative/s living in the annexe must not be dependent on a carer or require any special assistance."

    This condition appears to be specifically punitive regarding disabled people and contrary to the Equality Act 2010, in that it treats disabled people less favourably than non-disabled people. (Non-disabled people are much less likely to be dependent on a carer or require assistance than disabled people) .

    I'm curious, does anyone out there know why this, apparently unfair and unlawful, condition is in place?
  • NinteyNintey Forumite
    284 posts
    I have an annexe that we get a separate council tax bill for, even though it is in use daily by myself and my husband as part of our main residence.

    I have just phoned our local council - Torbay Council - and explained what was in your report and according to this we should qualify for the 50% discount from April 2014.

    The lady who I spoke to was not aware of this particular discount (neither was her supervisor) so she said she would send my details over to the back office and they would get back to me within 2-4 weeks as they are very busy. She said in the mean time to just pay my council tax bill as normal.

    I will update my post when I receive and answer. Has anyone else had any joy with their council?

  • edited 26 March 2015 at 7:20PM
    CISCIS Forumite
    11.9K posts
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    edited 26 March 2015 at 7:20PM
    jan_altus wrote: »
    Martin writes: "The relative living in the annexe cannot be a dependent. This means the relative/s living in the annexe must not be dependent on a carer or require any special assistance."

    This condition appears to be specifically punitive regarding disabled people and contrary to the Equality Act 2010, in that it treats disabled people less favourably than non-disabled people. (Non-disabled people are much less likely to be dependent on a carer or require assistance than disabled people) .

    I'm curious, does anyone out there know why this, apparently unfair and unlawful, condition is in place?

    The relevant legislation for England is the The Council Tax (Reductions for Annexes) (England) Regulations 2013.

    It's not a piece of legislation I've ever had to use but I've had a quick look through it and I can't see that the legislation makes reference to a 'dependent', it does however makes reference to a 'relative'.

    I think the 'dependent' bit is confusing for people reading the article as I suspect its a reference to a Class W exemption which would make an annexe exempt if was occupied by dependent relatives (under certain circumstances) so it would apply in place of the above legislation.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • antrobusantrobus Forumite
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    CIS wrote: »
    ...I think the 'dependent' bit is confusing for people reading the article as I suspect its a reference to a Class W exemption which would make an annexe exempt if was occupied by dependent relatives (under certain circumstances) so it would apply in place of the above legislation.

    Yes, I believe that Mr Lewis has confused people with the statement "The relative living in the annexe cannot be a dependent. This means the relative/s living in the annexe must not be dependent on a carer or require any special assistance."

    Firstly, there is no such condition. Secondly, the only reason that the 50% discount would not apply to an annex occupied by a dependent relative would be because the annex was already exempt.

    50% of nothing is still nothing.:)
  • Nintey wrote: »
    I have an annexe that we get a separate council tax bill for, even though it is in use daily by myself and my husband as part of our main residence.

    I have just phoned our local council - Torbay Council - and explained what was in your report and according to this we should qualify for the 50% discount from April 2014.

    The lady who I spoke to was not aware of this particular discount (neither was her supervisor) so she said she would send my details over to the back office and they would get back to me within 2-4 weeks as they are very busy. She said in the mean time to just pay my council tax bill as normal.

    I will update my post when I receive and answer. Has anyone else had any joy with their council?

    Hi

    I also live in Torbay and contacted the council last week, they stated they knew nothing of this discount being available for annexe / granny flats and stated they would get back to me. I received a letter on Friday stating the following:

    Annexes lived in by a dependent relative
    A property is exempt when;
    1. It is an annexe or similar self contained part of a home; and
    2. It is lived in by a relative who is either
    3. 65 or over, or
    4. Has severe mental problems, or
    5. Has a substantial and permanent disability; and
    6. They are a relative of a person who lives in the other part of the home.
    7. The annexe must have its own valuation code. It must not be included in the valuation band for the rest of the property.
    I have received forms to fill in with regards to this but from what i have read it clearly states the person living in the annexe / granny flat needs to be a dependent relative which contradicts the advice given on the money saving expert web site. I am going to contact the council again to talk through this one, i find it surprising that the council were completely unaware of this so called government legislation!!!. Hope this helps if anyone has had a similar response from their local council please let me know.

    Thanks
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    centre_12 wrote: »
    Hi

    I also live in Torbay and contacted the council last week, they stated they knew nothing of this discount being available for annexe / granny flats and stated they would get back to me. I received a letter on Friday stating the following:

    Annexes lived in by a dependent relative
    A property is exempt when;
    1. It is an annexe or similar self contained part of a home; and
    2. It is lived in by a relative who is either
    3. 65 or over, or
    4. Has severe mental problems, or
    5. Has a substantial and permanent disability; and
    6. They are a relative of a person who lives in the other part of the home.
    7. The annexe must have its own valuation code. It must not be included in the valuation band for the rest of the property.
    I have received forms to fill in with regards to this but from what i have read it clearly states the person living in the annexe / granny flat needs to be a dependent relative which contradicts the advice given on the money saving expert web site. I am going to contact the council again to talk through this one, i find it surprising that the council were completely unaware of this so called government legislation!!!. Hope this helps if anyone has had a similar response from their local council please let me know.

    Thanks

    That's the application for a Class W exemption.

    To be truthful most staff in my office would be unaware of the annexe rules as it's very very rare we ever deal with one. The relevant regulation to quote to the council is The Council Tax (Reductions for Annexes) (England) Regulations 2013
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • NinteyNintey Forumite
    284 posts
    centre_12 wrote: »
    I have received forms to fill in with regards to this but from what i have read it clearly states the person living in the annexe / granny flat needs to be a dependent relative which contradicts the advice given on the money saving expert web site. I am going to contact the council again to talk through this one, i find it surprising that the council were completely unaware of this so called government legislation!!!. Hope this helps if anyone has had a similar response from their local council please let me know.

    Hi centre12 I'm curious to know if you got any further with Torbay council? I have not heard anything from them since I last spoke to them on 26th March 2015, but I have just had a new council tax bill sent through the post for exactly the same amount with no mention of the discount?

    I wonder if this means they have looked at my details and decided I am not eligible even though I clearly am by the new rules - not that a dependent relative is in my annexe but it is in use by me every single day (it's part of my house).

    CIS - do all councils have to follow this new rule by law or can they say that it's something they do not allow and they only allow the Class W exemption?

This discussion has been closed.

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