council tax on op tours

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by circus_24_rodeo, Feb 15, 2007.

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  1. I am certain this must have been raised before but anyway...

    Am off to a far away place in April and thought i would contact my local council to see if I was entitled to a council tax rebate/discount while my property is empty for the next 6 months. (am the sole occupier)

    Was very surprised to hear that as forces personnel deploying on operations we are entitled to Zip, nil, nowt, didly...

    Was even more surprised to hear that if i went down the road and mugged some poor old lady of her pension and got banged up then i would not have to pay a penny!!

    Does this sound wrong to anyone else???
     
  2. Sorry to hear that you wont get a rebate but sadly it does not surprise me.

    Once again the hard working people are penilised whilst the scumbags get every entitlement going.

    What a Sh1t country we are living in. Just have to watch the news any night of the week to see that this country is a fecking shambles.

    Keep trying circus mate you never know somebody with a brain might realise that you are deserving of a rebate.
     
  3. If the property is not occupied, you can get a reduction. Some councils deem this to be no furniture in it, some deem it to be no beds (!) I spoke to the office and said i was going to live away and therefore the property would be empty. I had to give the address i was going to be at outside the uk and they reduced the bill to 25% i think it was. This was in 2004. When i came back i phoned them and told them my circumstances had changed and they recalculated the remaining 6 months with me living there.

    I think i had to say i was away for indefinate future as i was working abroad, but so long as you correct it when you come back then alls fair.
     
  4. I would get a discount (50%) if i was to remove all my furniture and place it in storage... however the cost of doing this (not to mention the hassle) would just not be worth it.

    Am sure everyone else who has deployed is equally as put out by this.

    sign of the times we live in today, when societys "pond life" get to pay nothing for breaking the law and those of us who pay our taxes and bills deploying on operations get shafted once again..
     
  5. Nearly as demonstrably illogical and as unfair as those registered as blind being required to hold a television licence and prosecuted in default of compliance.

    On this particular issue, I have heard it argued on behalf of the local authority that although the individual council tax payer is not the beneficiary in any personal sense of any of the local services for which council tax is required while he is out of the country - to suggest otherwise would be manifestly absurd, the property owned by him is.

    Such property for example, if torched by vandals, still requires the paid services of the fire brigade, maintained and paid for by council tax payers. Such property requires to be policed, again, resourced by Council Tax payers, and so on. If a water main situated on the property bursts and causes a haazard while unoccupied, but nevertheless owned, it is the local authority who must find the resources necessary to enter the property and rectify the damage and so on and so fourth.

    I take no particular view on the efficacy of such an argument other than to articulate it and invite comment upon it's utility.

    Regards and best wishes
    Iolis
     
  6. Ask them specifically what furniture you need to remove, or more than that just pull the curtains. Providing no-one can see in who is to tell. My council told me just had to remove the beds so no-one could sleep there. I said i had they made the discount. I clearly could prove i wasnt living there and no-one else had access.

    If you want to quote the council invovled pm me and i will name them.
     
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The local council where my house is located refused to give me the second home discount, despite my having spent less than a month there in the last 6 years.

    The principal reason given was that I could not demonstrate that I paid Council Tax for another home. I produced evidence of CILOCT being paid, but this was rejected on the grounds that CILOCT is paid to central government and not a local authority.

    I wrote to my MP (a Cabinet minister), suggesting that this is an iniquitous situation. He was unable to provide anything like a cogent response - MOD claim they can do nothing as it's Treasury's responsibility whilst Treasury say MOD haven't suggested there's a problem.
     
  8. Funnily enough i have also written to my local MP to seek assistance on this. Seeing as a large proportion of his area are Forces and the fact he used to be a shadow defence cabinet memeber, I thought he may be willing to fight the case. Nothing heard yet mind but it would certainly be a vote winner for him in his own area... but then pigs might fly ;o)
     
  9. Just be carefull on your property insurance as well. most state property not to be unoccupied for periods of 28 days or less...
     
  10. Rosie Brown housing specialist AFF has latest info on Council Tax Discounts. Apparently if you are serving in UK your empty home qualifies for 50% discount. HOWEVER IF YOU ARE SERVING ABROAD, your empty property only qualifies for 10%. With LOA in Germany going down think this stinks. Rosie Brown is trying to get this ruling changed so please email her with your comments
     
  11. you only qualify for the 50% discount if the home is left unfurnished... i think carpets, curtains and fixtures (ie kitchen etc) can remain.. other wise you dont qualify for anything.

    Cant comment on the Germany.... i know nothing about it..
     
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Many councils will also only apply the 50% discount for 6 months, and some not at all.

    The problem is that the legislation seems to have been so badly drafted that it can be interpreted in a number of ways.
     
  13. Look into East Yorkshire Council tax legislation for soldiers on ops
     
  14. Perplexed,

    But not perhaps for much longer. In support of the Government's drive to reduce the amount of 'under-utilised' housing (their words not mine), councils are now starting to apply the full rate of Council Tax whenever a property is unoccupied.

    Colchester has recently announced just such a policy (no link unfortunately). Impact will hit those letting properties as well as those actually deployed so best get those letting voids sorted soonest.

    PAW
     
  15. I got into a bout of verbal with my local council over this when I went off for 8 months to Iraq. As everyone else has pointed out I got the square root of fukc all discount because as the lady said at the other end of the phone:

    "It is still your house and you can go home whenever you want"

    And there was me thinking I had to stay on Ops until I was told to sod off and go home.

    Civvies - a virus on the military planet.