Every UK citizen is legally obligated to pay council tax if they own or rent out a property. However, nobody prefers paying taxes that can be avoided. The government groups each property into tax bands abbreviated A to H. you’re allocated a specific council tax band depending on your property’s value, location, size and similar factors. Sadly, property owners are required to pay council tax even if their houses are empty.
If you own property that’s currently unoccupied, there are several tactics you can implement to evade paying hundreds of dollars towards council tax. It’s especially important for landlords to know how they can avoid paying council tax on an empty property.
Here are 4 ways to avoid paying council tax on an empty property:
- Let out the property
The easiest way to avoid paying unnecessary council tax is by letting your empty space out. In the UK, there were around 200,000 unoccupied properties in 2017. This means that many property owners were paying hefty taxes for their empty houses – money that they’d have used somewhere else. Landlords risk paying double what they normally pay in council tax when their properties are empty. Therefore, consider hiring a management company to let out and oversee your property. This will allow you to handle other important issues without feeling the pinch of paying outrageous council tax.
- Get a property guardian
Property guardians will not only take care of your property, but they’ll also help you avoid paying expensive council taxes. Essentially, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. Although most property owners are unfamiliar with the concept of property guardians, these individuals provide a variety of benefits. For instance, they pay rent and are responsible for handling council tax. They also protect your property from being vandalized or broken into by burglars. Ensure you choose trustworthy people to be your property guardians.
If you own property within the UK, then you may be liable for council tax discounts and exemptions. Ensure that you call your local council or pay them a visit to discuss whether or not you’re eligible for discounts on council tax charged on your empty property. However, taking this course of action won’t completely obliterate your council tax – it’ll only make it smaller and more affordable to pay. It always helps to treat your local council as a caring friend rather than an annoying foe.
- Understand what your exemptions are
There are several factors that could exempt you from paying unneeded council tax on your empty property. For instance, your property may be unoccupied but not technically empty: it could still be substantially furnished. In addition, a property isn’t considered empty if it has been vacant for two years or less. If the people who initially occupied the property are incarcerated or they joined the armed forces, then you can also be exempted from paying council tax. There’s a variety of council tax exemptions you should be aware of, so ensure you learn about these exclusions and use them to your advantage.
These tips, when followed to the letter, will help you to avoid paying council tax on an empty property.