What is meant by uninhabitable?

A domestic property may be classed as uninhabitable if it is empty and requires, or is undergoing, major repairs to make it habitable. Major repairs can include structural alterations to the property.

What Do We Mean By Uninhabitable?

To be eligible for a Council Tax discount, the property must be vacant (not lived in), unfurnished and be undergoing major repair works to make it habitable.

When taking into consideration what can be considered to be ‘major repairs’, the Council will look at:

  • Substantial repairs to the main structure of the property, e.g. roofs, walls, foundations. Replacing a seriously defective roof would probably be sufficient, but repairing a few tiles would not
  • The cost and extent of works required to make the property fit to live in. Individual works such as installing central heating, double glazing, re-plastering, rewiring, replacement of floors and ceilings would not be enough to qualify if taken individually, but consideration would be given to the aggregate effect of otherwise minor works, in assessing an application.
  • Consideration will also be given to the cost and extent of works required to make the property fit to live in and the time that those works would take.
  • General refurbishment or modernisation such as replacing old fashion but serviceable kitchens and bathrooms will not be enough.

Structural Alterations

To qualify, any structural alterations would have to be substantive, such as a large extension. Minor items such as putting in a roof window or a porch would not be sufficient.

How Long Does The Discount Last?

The discount period CAN last for a maximum period of twelve months from when the property became uninhabitable and in need of major repair, or the structural alterations began (see below regarding the backdating of claims). The discount applies to the property, irrespective of ownership.

When the discount period expires, Council Tax becomes payable at the full amount.

What do you need to do?

Telephone us on 01282 425011 before the work starts (or very soon afterwards) to let us know. You will be asked to provide evidence of the work required such as a Surveyor’s Report, date stamped photographs, invoices, estimates, planning applications etc. This list is not exhaustive but you would be expected to supply sufficient evidence in order for us to decide if the criteria have been met. If the evidence is not provided, the discount cannot be granted. Please be aware that anything you provide (other than photographs) will need to show the property address.