Man slapped with double council tax invoice after shopping for empty house

A person has been slapped with a staggering £2,800 council tax invoice after shopping for an “uninhabitable” empty home.

Ray Plant snapped up a two-bedroom semi-detached home for £100,000.

Nevertheless, because it had been empty for greater than two years, it’s topic to the empty house premium.

Meaning the Band B council tax cost of £1,397.67 for the Bradeley, Stoke-on-Trent property has been doubled to £2,795.34.

The 54-year-old has now accused the Stoke-on-Trent Metropolis Council of dissuading folks from making an attempt to carry long-term empty houses again into use.

Ray, from Burslem, informed Stoke-on-TrentLive: “I purchased this home with no concept that the council was going to tear me off. I knew nothing concerning the laws.

“There’s an absence of transparency. I agree with the laws, it’s getting the properties again into use. However to penalise the individual that goes on and does it, I discover it disgusting.

“The neighbours hated the best way the home regarded, the council was not going to do something about it, after which I got here alongside and now they’re doubling my council tax.

“When a brand new purchaser buys it, there must be a six to nine-month grace interval.

“It has been topic to this cost beforehand, you could have this period of time to carry it again into use, in any other case you’ll be charged for it too. That appears the honest manner.”

Ray added: “I’m doing precisely what the council desires to occur and so they’re refusing to raise the cost.

“It’s uninhabitable, you’ve solely obtained to look via the window, it’s not tough to see the home is being accomplished up.

“They’re principally utilizing good laws and so they’re abusing it.

“So far as I’m involved, I’m serving to the group by bringing the home again into use.

“I discover it a bit weird and it is simply one other manner of grabbing cash the place you possibly can take it. They’re not displaying any frequent sense.

“They need to drop the cost for brand spanking new consumers of properties and put an enforcement order on it that it have to be introduced again into use inside a sure period of time.”

The council presently doubles council tax on properties which have been empty for at the least two years.

This will increase to 200 per cent for these properties empty between 5 and 10 years, after which rises to 300 per cent for these empty for greater than a decade.

Council chief Abi Brown stated: “The council is eager to see empty properties introduced again into use, nevertheless, sadly some homeowners permit them to stay empty for a few years, blighting neighbourhoods and inflicting anti-social behaviour.

“Numerous years in the past we – together with many different councils – began to utilise our means to extend council tax payments on empty properties to encourage such homeowners to carry their properties again into use.

“This was nicely publicised on the time with additional particulars obtainable on the council web site, and we’d all the time advise that potential property purchasers ought to make enquiries about council tax through the buying course of.

“We have now suggested Mr Plant that if the property is uninhabitable, he can apply to the valuation workplace to have the property faraway from ranking for council tax.”

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