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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4965
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I have several properties I rent out.I do most of the

Customer Question

I have several properties I rent out.
I do most of the maintenance myself.
I have a property in Liverpool on which I am carrying out major refurbishment work.
The property has no sewer or drain connection. As such no sinks, washbasins, shower or toilet connected. The electricity was not connected. As part of the refurb a lot of the wiring was hanging down/ exposed and was considered by a chartered surveyor as being dangerous.
Liverpool City Council believes the property falls into charge for council tax. Their inspector agreed, upon inspection, that the property was uninhabitable. Despite this the council still believed the property was liable council tax. I got a chartered surveyor, from a big firm, to inspect the property, he was of the view, with regard to the issues above, that the property was unfit for human habitation also that the property would be dangerous due to the exposed wiring.
The council would still not be moved. So as I had used up the tax free period the property was still liable to council tax.
To me there seems a basic fundamental that for a property to be liable for council tax it has to be fit for human habitation.
As an aside had I put a tenant in the the council would no doubt have prosecuted me for renting out a property which was unfit for human habitation.
I have appealed the council's opinion to the Tribunal. The case is due to be heard on the 4th of December.
Can you help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello Kevin, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question. Several Council's advice on this matter is that if a property is declared unfit for human habitation it is not liable to the tax. However, as I understand it, from the tenor of your question, the property has yet to be so declared. This is a matter for the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), a part of HMRC, whose main function is to band properties for Council Tax and also assess for Business Rates. You should ask the appropriate VOA local office to take the property out of banding then you will have no further Council Tax liability. I do hope that my reply has been of assistance.