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Derelict vacant properties that require major works to make habitable

In 2013 the Government changed the regulations in respect to vacant properties requiring structural alterations or major works. The change removed the requirement to award a Class A exemption.

Local authorities are permitted to decide the local rate of discount allowed for certain unoccupied properties. This discount is agreed by the Members of Chichester District Council and is set annually. Chichester District Council has currently set the discount for vacant properties that require or are undergoing major repair works or is under structural alteration at 0%. A 25% single occupancy discount cannot be applied in these circumstances as the property must occupied as a main residence for this discount to apply.

Depending on the state of repair the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may, in limited circumstances, delete a property from council tax rating. The owner will not have to pay any council tax until the works are complete. The VOA is a division of HM Revenues and Customs and is responsible for the banding of domestic properties.

The VOA will only agree to remove a property from banding under a strict set of circumstances. A property that has not been modernised is not normally a reason for the band to be reduced or for the property to be removed from the council tax valuation list.

Normal repairs, including the renewal of any part of a building that "wears out" over time and needs replacement will also not be considered. This includes:

  • A roof covering
  • Windows.
  • Kitchen or bathroom fittings
  • Rewiring
  • Paintwork and decoration

However, if these repairs are part of a scheme of works which affect most of the property so it cannot be lived in, the VOA may consider deleting the property. Further information is available at  Council Tax: domestic properties which are in disrepair or are derelict (opens new window)

You can contact the VOA on 03000 501501 or by completing the online form on their website at Challenge your Council Tax band: Overview - GOV.UK (opens new window)

Where the VOA agrees to remove the property from council tax banding, they will reassess the completed build as a brand-new property. This may result in an increase in council tax banding to that of the original property.

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