From the BBC:
A million home owners who do not live full time in their property could see their council tax rocket in April, as most automatic discounts are to end. The change, which will affect second homes and empty properties in England, could see bills for 2013-14 rise by 200%...(1)
Katrina bought a property in Rotherham to renovate while she still lived with her mother. Her council tax will rise from just under £50 a month to almost £150 as a 50% reduction becomes a 50% premium.
"There is no law against taking a long time to get it renovated. If they'd told us a year ago maybe I could've pushed and got it finished. But I've been given less than a month's notice."(2)
... Landlords too will find their costs go up. At the moment they get six months free of council tax between lettings of unfurnished property. But from April that will end.
Adrian Thompson, Director of the Guild of Residential Landlords rents many properties out in the North of England. He says rents will have to rise. "I can see no choice in the matter. Returns are very low anyway. I can't see any choice."(3)
1) As a poor cousin of LVT, charging full Council Tax on empty and second homes might, at the margin, encourage them to be brought into use. We observed the same effect when the government tightened up the rules on empty property discounts for Business Rates a few years ago.
2) Which sort of illustrates the point. Hopefully she'll now get on with it.
3) Bizarre. There will be slightly more supply and the same number of people looking for homes to rent, which will push rents down, however slightly. And council tax payable during void periods cannot possibly affect the amount which tenants are willing to pay while they actually live there, why would it? Why is it their problem?
If anything, landlords will be dropping rents (or doing up their empty ones all the quicker) to ensure that they have the shortest void periods. Or has he so far been generously charging lower rents than he could have done?
Monday, 18 March 2013
From the BBC: