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How legislation changed Council Tax from 1 April 2013

Changes to the Council Tax discounts and exemptions from April 2013

As part of the Local Government Finance Act 2012 The Government has introduced new powers to allow local authorities to set their own level of discounts in certain situations. Therefore, at the full Council meeting on 21 January 2013, it was decided that that following changes will be introduced.

Second homes

Up until the 31 March 2013, furnished second homes attract a 10% discount on the Council Tax charged. From 01 April 2013 this discount will be removed and you will be required to pay a full Council Tax charge for your second home.

Properties undergoing structural alteration or repair

Up until the 31 March 2013 if your property is undergoing structural alteration or repair, you can receive a 100% exemption (which means you have no Council Tax to pay) for up to twelve months, or six months after work has been completed, whichever is sooner. From the 1st April 2013 this exemption will no longer exist and will be replaced with a discount of 50% for up to 12 months.

Properties that are empty and unfurnished

Up until the 31 March 2013 if your property is empty and unfurnished, you can receive a 100% exemption (which means you have no Council Tax to pay) for up to six months. From the 1st April 2013 this exemption will no longer exist and will be replaced with a discount of 100% for up to one calendar month from the last occupied date, regardless of any change in ownership. After which the full Council Tax will be charged for your empty property. Therefore if on the 1 April 2013, your property has had more than one calendar month exemption, you will be liable for the full Council Tax charge. Also to qualify for a further unoccupied and unfurnished discount the property must have been occupied or furnished for more than three months since the end of the previous discount.

Long Term Empty Property Premium

This is a new power to set an additional amount of Council Tax (a "premium") to be paid when a property has been empty for at least two years. As of the 1 April 2013 Rother District Council has decided to set this premium at 50%. Therefore properties that have remained unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of more than 2 years will be charged an additional 50% Council Tax. The charging of a premium over the normal Council Tax amount supports the Council's commitment to bring long term empty properties back into use.

However, there is a buoyant rental market in Rother.  If you are thinking about letting your property, the Council may be able to help you via our private sector Landlord Link Scheme.  This scheme offers benefits to owners in return for homes being made available for letting through the Council.  Please email privatesectorlettings@rother.gov.uk for advice including likely rents that could be achieved.

Please see the related page link for information on frequently asked questions.

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