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By Bay Estate Agents
Will there be any council tax relief for empty properties of buy-to-let landlords? Bay Estate & Letting Agents is coming across this query regularly as private landlords want the government to stop local authorities charging council tax on rented homes left empty because of the Coronavirus.
Despite government guidance not to move home, the National Residential Landlords Association reports that a significant number of rented homes have been left empty because tenants have been unable to take up tenancies, or have chosen to move out to be closer to family during the lockdown.
During this period, landlords will become liable for the council tax on the property and have no realistic prospect of finding new tenants. The association now wants Westminster to tell councils these properties should be exempt from the tax.
Bay Estate & Letting Agents’ professional and regulatory body, ARLA Propertymark, are meeting regularly with the MHCLG to urge that council tax on vacated properties during this period should be subject to discount. Council tax payments for investment property can be viewed as comparable to business rates, which have already been given relief.
A recent survey by the NRLA found that 41 per cent of landlords are concerned about having to cover the unexpected costs of utility bills and council tax.
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