If you want to buy a very cheap house, Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and even auctioneers are likely not the best places to start. A very cheap house is likely to be unoccupied and/or boarded up. A home with the council tax band deleted could be a good start.
Buying an uninhabitable property
Once you have established areas where the cost of homes per square foot is very low, you can start your search using google street view.
Using the postcodes of your target area, you can check the council tax band. Here is an example of a property in the seaside town of Horden:
Property information for 3 TENTH STREET, PETERLEE, CO DURHAM, SR8 4NE
Local Authority Durham County
Local authority reference number EA0413489
Council Tax band Deleted
Improvement indicator No
With effect from 20 March 2019
Mixed-use property No
Court code None
Below is a picture of the house taken by Google Street View in January 2024.
It doesn’t look in very poor condition, It still has a gas meter in place. The owner likely partially ripped out the kitchen and bathroom to meet the Durham County Council’s criterior.
Based on the dates that are known, it has been unoccupied for at least four years based on March 2019 till today.
The owner or occupier would likely been in trouble if the council found someone living in the property and not paying the council tax.
You can lookup the Gas supplier on the website https://www.findmysupplier.energy/
Here is a lookup for our example Council Tax Band Deleted property example.
If you are looking for a very cheap house to buy, pulling the land registry title should tell you the name and address of the landlord.
You can write a personal letter to them and ask them if they are interested in selling and if you can view the property.
Delisting a property from council tax in the UK is a complex process, often intertwined with various legal and bureaucratic requirements. This process fundamentally involves having a property officially recognised as unsuitable for habitation or not being used as a residence, thus rendering it exempt from council tax. The primary steps and considerations in this process are as follows:
Council Tax Band Deleted – Understanding the Criteria for Delisting
Council tax is a local taxation system in the UK applied to domestic properties. However, specific properties can be deleted from council tax rolls if they meet specific criteria. These criteria typically include being uninhabitable due to major structural problems, undergoing significant renovation or reconstruction, or being subject to specific legal orders prohibiting occupation.
The Process of Application for Delisting
The process begins by applying to the local council. This application must include evidence supporting the claim that the property meets the criteria for delisting. The evidence could comprise photographs, structural survey reports, planning permission for renovations, or legal documents showing that the property is unfit for habitation.
Inspection by the Local Council:
Following the application, the local council will usually inspect the property. This inspection is to verify the claims made in the application. The council tax department assesses if the property is in a state that warrants delisting. Inspectors may evaluate the work’s extent and the projected completion timeline if a property is undergoing renovation.
Legal Considerations and Compliance – what makes a property uninhabitable UK
Property may sometimes be subject to legal orders, such as a demolition order, which can also be grounds for delisting from council tax. However, property owners must ensure that all legal aspects, such as planning permissions and adherence to building regulations, comply. Non-compliance can lead to legal complications and may affect the delisting process.
The Role of Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
The VOA plays a crucial role in the council tax system in the UK. It is responsible for allocating council tax bands to properties. When a property is considered for delisting, the VOA is involved in reassessing the property. If the VOA determines that the property should no longer be listed for council tax, it will inform the local council.
Council tax on empty property being renovated
Delisting can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances. Delisting is usually temporary and valid for properties under renovation until the renovation is complete and the property becomes habitable. For properties deemed permanently uninhabitable, the delisting can be permanent.
The Implications of Delisting
It’s essential to understand the implications of having a property delisted. While it relieves the owner of the council tax burden, it also signifies that the property is not in a state fit for occupation. This status can affect the property’s market value, insurance, and future planning permissions.
The Appeal Process
Property owners can appeal the decision if a delisting application is denied. Appeals can be made to the Valuation Tribunal, an independent body that handles council tax and non-domestic rates disputes.
The financial aspect of delisting a property from council tax is significant. While delisting removes the council tax burden, property owners must consider the costs involved in rendering a property habitable again or maintaining an uninhabited property. Additionally, the impact on the property’s market value must be considered. It could stop you from getting a mortgage or equity release.
Seeking Professional Advice
Seeking Professional Advice On What Makes A House Uninhabitable UK
Given the complexity of the process and the legal and financial implications, seeking professional advice is advisable. Property law experts, surveyors, and tax advisors can provide valuable guidance and help navigate the intricacies of the process.
Delisting a property from council tax in the UK is not a straightforward task. It requires a thorough understanding of the criteria, a meticulous application process, and often, a significant investment of time and resources. Property owners must carefully weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks and legal obligations involved in this process. The role of professional advice cannot be overstated, as it can significantly ease the burden of navigating through this complex terrain.
What makes a house uninhabitable for a mortgage UK?
Many mortgage lenders use the criterion:
- Working kitchen
- Working bathroom
- All windows and doors in place