Council tax?

Hi all

Not sure if this is the best category to put this thread in so apologies if I've got it wrong!

Two years ago mum passed away. Due to an ongoing dispute with a bank it's only now that the house is on the market.
Their council puts a 100% penalty surcharge on property empty for two years.
There's enough cash left in mum's reserves to get us to next spring - when we expect the house to be sold - but not at double the rate of council tax.
I've written to the council to see what can be done but, if they get heavy handed, what sorts of options are available to us (as executors)?
I'm a pensioner so there's no way I can afford to pay it.

Thanks! 
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Comments

  • When was probate granted? You should have CT exemption for 6 months after that date.
  • GaryBC
    GaryBC Posts: 400
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    Yes. We got the 6 months exemption but they're counting the two years from the date of death, not the end of the exemption period. Probate wasn't achieved until October '22.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,271
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    If it's down to a dispute with the bank maybe you could complain to them about them causing you(or your mom) to be financially disadvantaged due to the delays they caused.  You might suggest they are responsible for incurring the penalty being charged.  You may not get all of it but perhaps a percentage.  

    That said - I can't tell from your comments when the 2 years has happened, given that if your mom died 2 years back but you would have had an exemption from Oct 22 to at least April 23.  If it's a case of the council getting the timing wrong then tell them.  If it continues to be an issue you might try logging the issue with your councillor to see if they can intervene on your behalf.  

    Another thought - could you move in for a month or two?  To stop the unoccupied status.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,267
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    Will they agree to a hold on payment so that you can pay it when the house is sold?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • GaryBC
    GaryBC Posts: 400
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    Brie said:
    If it's down to a dispute with the bank maybe you could complain to them about them causing you(or your mom) to be financially disadvantaged due to the delays they caused.  You might suggest they are responsible for incurring the penalty being charged.  You may not get all of it but perhaps a percentage.  

    That said - I can't tell from your comments when the 2 years has happened, given that if your mom died 2 years back but you would have had an exemption from Oct 22 to at least April 23.  If it's a case of the council getting the timing wrong then tell them.  If it continues to be an issue you might try logging the issue with your councillor to see if they can intervene on your behalf.  

    Another thought - could you move in for a month or two?  To stop the unoccupied status.  
    We can certainly try to get it out of the bank after the event, yes. 

    Bit of clarity on the timings: mum died December 21, we got probate Oct 22, council tax was £0 for the first 6 months after probate granted (so paying it (in full) since Apr 23, the 'empty property penalty' has kicked in two years from death (ie Dec 21). 

    Hmmm... Hadn't thought of un-emptying the place! 😁
  • GaryBC
    GaryBC Posts: 400
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    elsien said:
    Will they agree to a hold on payment so that you can pay it when the house is sold?
    I've emailed the council with a query to that effect. Thanks. 
  • GaryBC
    GaryBC Posts: 400
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    GaryBC said:
    Brie said:
    If it's down to a dispute with the bank maybe you could complain to them about them causing you(or your mom) to be financially disadvantaged due to the delays they caused.  You might suggest they are responsible for incurring the penalty being charged.  You may not get all of it but perhaps a percentage.  

    That said - I can't tell from your comments when the 2 years has happened, given that if your mom died 2 years back but you would have had an exemption from Oct 22 to at least April 23.  If it's a case of the council getting the timing wrong then tell them.  If it continues to be an issue you might try logging the issue with your councillor to see if they can intervene on your behalf.  

    Another thought - could you move in for a month or two?  To stop the unoccupied status.  
    We can certainly try to get it out of the bank after the event, yes. 

    Bit of clarity on the timings: mum died December 21, we got probate Oct 22, council tax was £0 for the first 6 months after probate granted (so paying it (in full) since Apr 23, the 'empty property penalty' has kicked in two years from death (ie Dec 21). 

    Hmmm... Hadn't thought of un-emptying the place! 😁
    PS. The house isn't in the same borough as where I live so I'm not sure how I'd be able to access a councillor. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,314
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    GaryBC said:

    I've written to the council to see what can be done but, if they get heavy handed, what sorts of options are available to us (as executors)?
    You pay it from the proceeds of sale when you get the house sold. The council can't extract cash out of the estate if it doesn't have cash, they'll just have to wait. They're used to it.
  • GaryBC
    GaryBC Posts: 400
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    user1977 said:
    GaryBC said:

    I've written to the council to see what can be done but, if they get heavy handed, what sorts of options are available to us (as executors)?
    You pay it from the proceeds of sale when you get the house sold. The council can't extract cash out of the estate if it doesn't have cash, they'll just have to wait. They're used to it.
    If they're happy to go with that I'd accept it. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,314
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    edited 16 December 2023 at 2:42PM
    GaryBC said:
    user1977 said:
    GaryBC said:

    I've written to the council to see what can be done but, if they get heavy handed, what sorts of options are available to us (as executors)?
    You pay it from the proceeds of sale when you get the house sold. The council can't extract cash out of the estate if it doesn't have cash, they'll just have to wait. They're used to it.
    If they're happy to go with that I'd accept it. 
    Well they don't have much choice. They can't force anybody other than the estate to pay it (at least until somebody moves in).
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