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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We purchased a bungalow 3 years ago and have been re-building

Customer Question

We purchased a bungalow 3 years ago and have been re-building it. To save money my partner and I have been doing it ourselves on weekends and all our Annual leave we are over there as well. Since owning the property we have been paying the full council tax for it. However the last year 2013-2014 we were sent the council tax bill which we paid in full and by 15th October 2013. In February 2014 we have now been sent another bill saying we owe them a further £878.52 because our property has been empty for over 2 years. At this point we hadn't received any notification regarding this change but just a bill saying we have to pay it in two instalments of £429.52 on the 18th March & £439 by 18th April. We have since been sent a letter saying that our account has been reviewed and our property should now be set at the new 150% "premium discount" and we have to pay this amount. Is it legal for the council to be able to send you another bill after the original one and then expect you to pay it in 2 instalments. We can't even afford to finish our bungalow let alone pay this bill. Please can you give me some advise. Sue Anderson [email protected]
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.

Who is your local authority and has your bungalow been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished more than 2 years?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good Afternoon, It is Bristol City Council. It took a year to get planning permission from Bristol City Council to make the changes we wanted to do. We had to take the roof completley off as the apex on the roof was too low and we wanted to put a bedroom up there. So for about a year there was no roof just four walls, no kitchen, no bathroom - nothing. We just about have a kitchen and bathroom but no bedrooms as yet.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
I will revert to you later today.

Please do not reply to this
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your patience. I have been trying to do some research.

I would suggest that an application be made to the VOA to have the bungalow deleted from the council tax list on the ground that the property is uninhabitable due to the major works being undertaken and therefore uninhabitable.

They have the power to delete it in your case but when the work is done, any repairs will be taken into account and the property may be revalued

See here

It also appears that you may have gotten a years exemption from council tax before 1 April 2013 as your bungalow was undergoing structural work.

I would say that you should discuss your case with the VOA to see what advice they can give regarding deletion from the list and recovering any excess tax paid.

Hope this helps

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