New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

Council Tax Rip off

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Cutting Tax
14 replies 1.3K views
cooket3cooket3 Forumite
33 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Cutting Tax
Hi

Firstly I apologise if this is in the wrong section but I cannot seem to find the right place.

I have no issues with the band or normal cost.

I extended my house a few years ago and due to some poor builders and neighbours being a******s my builders left and I had do get new ones in and do the rest of the work myself, which has taken over a year, as I have had to save up and spend every penny I had. I now have the property up for sale and the house has been vacant for over 2 years now.

I have been living with my partner and paying the extra 25% council tax bill, as she previoulsy was paying 75% single persons discount

Because the house has been vacant the council are charging me 150% and this will go up to 200% in April!

I am actively trying to sell the house and have been in a hell of a situation and the council are punishing me

Apparently now, there are no tribunals or anywhere you can contest this rediculous charge. Is this correct? Durham County Council is my council

I have been thinking of 'moving in' for a week then saying I have moved out but knowing my luck it wont work or I'll get fined. Plus I dont want to move back in my house as I cant stand being there due to the issues and neighbours. Plus ill be away from my family

Is there a safe way to reduce the council tax bill or challenge it?

Sorry for the rant!

Thanks in advance
«1

Replies

  • KatrinaWavesKatrinaWaves Forumite
    2.9K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    cooket3 wrote: »

    I have been thinking of 'moving in' for a week then saying I have moved out but knowing my luck it wont work or I'll get fined. Plus I dont want to move back in my house as I cant stand being there due to the issues and neighbours. Plus ill be away from my family

    Knowing my luck my obvious fraud will be noticed...

    You could have sold the house before now. You may not have got the price you wanted, but the councils dont care about that. They set their own rules for such thins, so no you cannot challenge them.
  • DCFC79DCFC79 Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why has it not sold, either price, location or the house as in layout.
    Maybe post over on the House buying, renting and selling board for help on advice on selling (if you want the help).
  • When I said 'moving in' I didnt mean lying/fraud. I meant just stay the night there and spending the rest of the time with my family.

    So I would be living there for a week
  • DCFC79 wrote: »
    Why has it not sold, either price, location or the house as in layout.
    Maybe post over on the House buying, renting and selling board for help on advice on selling (if you want the help).

    Its only been on the market since end of September

    The house was vacant as the building work took nearly 2 years!
  • KatrinaWavesKatrinaWaves Forumite
    2.9K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    cooket3 wrote: »
    When I said 'moving in' I didnt mean lying/fraud. I meant just stay the night there and spending the rest of the time with my family.

    So I would be living there for a week

    No you wouldnt.
  • edited 13 January 2020 at 2:27PM
    00ec2500ec25
    9.1K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 13 January 2020 at 2:27PM
    cooket3 wrote: »
    Is there a safe way to reduce the council tax bill or challenge it?
    yes, you contact your MP and ask then to get the law changed to suit your circumstances

    Parliament passed a law that sets out the Council Tax rates and what sort of property they apply to

    the law also sets out various discounts and exemptions and the time periods those are available for

    but your time has run out and you must now pay - that is not "rip off" after 2 years, it is the law aimed at forcing owners of properties they are not using to put them back into use by selling up!


    that said, have you thought to read the rules as your options for getting the premium set aside are clearly listed thereon...
    https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/3458/Empty-properties-and-second-homes
  • CISCIS Forumite
    11.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Because the house has been vacant the council are charging me 150% and this will go up to 200% in April!

    I am actively trying to sell the house and have been in a hell of a situation and the council are punishing me
    There are ways around the premium - furnishing of the property defeats it under the right circumstances. I do come across quite a few council's who try to act like it doesn't though, contrary to the legislation. I've had a few clients where I've had to argue the point.


    Apparently now, there are no tribunals or anywhere you can contest this rediculous charge. Is this correct? Durham County Council is my council
    The rate that is set could only be challenged by Judicial Review. If you, however, thought it had been wrongly applied to the property then that would be for the Valuation Tribunal.
    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.
  • No you wouldnt.

    You have no Idea what I would or would not do, so don't make a judgement on you have no insight to
  • KatrinaWavesKatrinaWaves Forumite
    2.9K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    cooket3 wrote: »
    You have no Idea what I would or would not do, so don't make a judgement on you have no insight to

    Sleeping there for a week is not going to reset anything, you truly think no one came up with that master plan before?

    So therefore, sleeping there for one week would not mean you are living there.
  • CIS wrote: »
    There are ways around the premium - furnishing of the property defeats it under the right circumstances. I do come across quite a few council's who try to act like it doesn't though, contrary to the legislation. I've had a few clients where I've had to argue the point.




    The rate that is set could only be challenged by Judicial Review. If you, however, thought it had been wrongly applied to the property then that would be for the Valuation Tribunal.

    Thank You

    I will be looking deeper into this. When I challenged the 150% council tax and told them I was selling my house they still said I could not claim a discount. However I got a letter through the post yesterday saying I could get a discount if I am selling. I have applied for this and hopefully works.

    I was lied to when I was told no discount was available and have it on email too, so I am not happy. But if this discount works it will be the end of my rant and anger at the council
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support