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Paying council tax on an empty house

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Ive just left my house in Bristol to live with my girlfriend in Scotland.  Knowing that the house will be empty I started phoning up all the utility companies etc. confirming that I will no longer live in the property and that it would be vacant until sold.

My next call was to Bristol City Council to let them know I was moving home.  I jokingly expected them to thank me for tipping their bin men at Christmas and send me off with a Terrys chocolates orange as well as a healthy council tax discount.

After all I would no longer be living in the house, city or county so how could I be using their services?  But I might have been dreaming there, because the conversation didn't quite go as I had imagined.  I was asked if my home would be furnished or unfurnished whilst no one was living at the property, to which I replied 'It would be furnished'.

A furnished house Knowing this question sounded fishy I asked whether or not this would affect the amount of council tax discount I would be entitled to.  "You would only be entitled to 10% sir, council rules" was the smart reply.  Initially I thought I heard her wrong.  But no, apparently being 380 miles away in a different country I will still be paying over £90 a month for the streetlights that I can't see and the 'emptying; of my rubbish bins.  Even worse, if I actually lived there I would be paying less, as I would have been entitled to the full 25% discount for single adult occupancy!  I find this whole situation just a little hard to believe.  So I'm only entitled to a pathetic 10% discount because my house isn't COMPLETELY EMPTY?

Okay, time for plan B to come into action whereby it will be cheaper in the long run to just burn all my furniture.  That way I can then get the full discount for an unfurnished house.  Also, I won't have to pay a removals company to transport my furniture up to Scotland and I won't have to pay for it to be stored either!

Everybody wins, but what a strange world we live in.


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Stressed and sadened

Stressed and sadened

I have a similar problem, living in the Netherlands for many years (rented accomodation) and unfortunately my father died earlier this year in th Uk and I have to handle the estate - his houe in the Uk which has been unoccupied since his death. The house is on the market now and a couple of weeks ago probate was granted thus allowing me to sell/rent etc. The probate office informs the council that probate is through and you immediately get a bill as "'the new occupant" and have a bill of 1300+for 2013, dated form the exact date the probate is granted! I don't know how long it will take to sell and don't want the hassle of having to rent out - too difficult from abroad and yet still have to pay the full whack ( well maybe 10%^off). I do see this as completely unfair and rang the local council about it - no I still have to pay. Looke online at the local council procedure and exemption for up to 6 months AFTER probate is allowed ( section F) and this was also told me by and earlier phone call after his death. I'm trying to pace everything in the aftermath of his death which isn't easy to say the least and you get penalized for using "facilities"'which are not being usd ( any neighbour could testify to this). Have just completed exemption from council tas form online in the hope this gets reviewed/corrected. The council try it on in the hope you will collapse under the pressure of it all and just pay! Advice to those in a similar position is, if you cant afford these extra costs upfron,t do not apply for probate until AFTER finding a buyer or someone to rent the house - probate only necessary until the proposd sale/rent becomes actual/official/notary transaction etc. What a fool am I- please dont make the same mistake -it costs in more ways than one, unfortunately we often have to make the ''mistakes'' first to learn form them.
Stressed and sadened
13th Dec 12 05:12

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Homeless Harry

Homeless Harry

Morally speaking they should discounct the services that you are not able to use

Libraries, Entertainment, Swimming, sport centres etc..

But charge you for the the services that must be maintained whether you are there or not

Police, fire, road repair.

Schools, Social Services these are effectively funded by Government grant to the Councils

The amount that the council receives should be given to the Council area to which you have moved.

Notice should be given of your removal - 3 months.

Rent your empty home, and pass the buck of having to pay.

Rent it and get general rent levels right down.

Afford to live in two places at once? You are bourgeois!
Homeless Harry
20th Nov 10 09:11

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-33
Tinkerbell Pink

Tinkerbell Pink

My daughter & her partner have just bought a house in Ipswich Suffolk they are not living there as it had to be rewired & plastered etc no furniture moved in the house is empty. We asked the council to be exempt for 1 month while the works were being carried out & they said they were not entitled to be exempt. I said but they are unable to live in the house she said it does not matter we have completed & hold the keys. I think she has this wrong & I wll be seaking further advise
Tinkerbell Pink
20th Nov 10 08:11

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-5
Betty

Betty

Ask the council what they class as an unfurnished dwelling.
Betty
12th Sep 10 11:09

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martin

martin

You can only get Class C empty and unfurnished exemption for 6 months anyway. I would continue with the single occupancy discount
martin
3rd Aug 10 02:08

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-25
Been there

Been there

anon,
From where i'm sitting GL is the one doing all the baiting, he is also the one using over 20 alias names. He is also the one who can't put all his remarks/comments in 1 post. And isn't that what trolls and baiters do ?
Was that also the purpose of your comment? Another notch on your posting score!!! ? Doesn't that make you a baiter also ?
Lets face it, you've only tried to turn a bare faced liar into something their not. YOU of all people (with the highest postings) should know who's for real and who's the baiting trolls !!!
Why don't YOU ask admin if myself,Florida, Kathleen, Smithy AND THE REST are all the same person.They know our IP addys.
And just to top it off... He has admitted making 40 posts on his own gripe page. Considering the fact that there are only 48 comments posted in total...does that mean he has made other posts on there in other names, or he has only made the 26 visable ? Either way... he has LIED.
If You defend a liar, you will be tarred with the same brush.
Been there
25th Jul 10 10:07

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-20
Been there

Been there

Sorry smithy, I should have put my specsavers glasses on before reading your post.
Maybe I should send my spare pair to GL. That way he can read what is actually written instead of playing guessing games.
Been there
23rd Jul 10 01:07

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-3
Smithy

Smithy

Ha! Actually, I am not that old yet, just no longer young. Well, ok , young was quite a long way back along the road.

I think he knows that we are not all the same person really but his vanity won't let him admit that quite a few people disagree with him on this subject. I just find it so funny that he doesn't realise how obvious it is when he posts under other names. (Cleopatra Queen of denial - looks like someone got to the Nile before me!).

Good night Been There and Gainsborough also if you are still there.
Smithy
23rd Jul 10 01:07

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-5
Been there

Been there

No Smithy, i've not seen her about since april. Although we are all the same one person as far as GL is concerned :s. He's not very good at reading the world map, as her name gives a clue to her where abouts, and i'm in the UK. I've told him before to ask admin, but he won't listen.
Where's codgerville ? when are you going to see the nile ?
Been there
23rd Jul 10 01:07

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-18
Smithy

Smithy

Hello Been there, did you see Florida Girl posting anywhere tonight?

Did I miss her?

I know I am approaching old codgerville but I don't think I am going senile just yet.
Smithy
23rd Jul 10 12:07

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-27
Been there

Been there

Gainsborough lad.,
It's funny how you accuse so many people of the same sins but produce no evidence.I called you a muppet once. When I asked you to find any names I called you, you couldn't find any. Which just goes to show how often I insult people and you.
If we are going to start talking about how ones attitude on here reflects our off-screen life, then I would suggest you take a very long look at everything you have written on these gripes, including all your alias posts. You don't look very pretty from where i'm sitting.
Been there
23rd Jul 10 12:07

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-25
Smithy

Smithy

GL I post regularly but don't feel the need to post every day.

All I want to do is argue with you for days on end over next to nothing?

The last time that I spoke to you was , as I said, on the "private dentists are a rip off " gripe. I made two short comments, one of which was,

"I am sorry that your tooth hurts but you have said before that you have five family holidays a year so why not miss out on just one of them and be free of pain? Surely it is worth it?"

"I am sorry that your tooth hurts" - My god what a vicious man I am, how can I look myself in the mirror after that?
Smithy
23rd Jul 10 12:07

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-13
Been there

Been there

Gainsborough lad.
Your general attitude towards women is that they are "wh**es".That's your favourite word, no quotes from others needed !!!
Been there
22nd Jul 10 10:07

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-29
anonymous

anonymous

athair

You said either yesterday or this morning that you would not post anymore on this site. Why not show everyone that you are honest and do what you said.

thank you
anonymous
22nd Jul 10 09:07

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-13
Kathleen W

Kathleen W

athair_siochain

"stop being a spoilt rich kid"

You know nothing about the people who you are insulting. I disagree with Gainsborough Lad regarding his general attitude to women but, as I understand it, he works long hours to support his family and I respect that. He is far from rich!

There can be many reasons for properties being empty. A house near where I live was empty for several years as the elderly widow who lived there had to go into hospital and then, as she had become frail, into a retirement home.

She would not let her family sell it as she was convinced she would return home one day and was of a generation who feared what she called "the poor house". What was her family to do, have their mother declared unfit and sell her home from under her or keep it clean and maintained so that she had a sense of some control over her life.

Sadly she died without ever going home.
Kathleen W
22nd Jul 10 04:07

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-5

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