NHB & 2nd Homes etc

Now that most Local Authorities have removed the (10% discount / 2nd Home / furnished empty category) are council tax departments going to bother classifying such properties in the future?

It is certainly likely that most new owners will not bother to inform their LA that they have a 2nd Home / furnished empty and they will therefore drop into the long term empty category once their initial 1 month exemption has expired . This will of course skew the NHB figures.

In addition does anyone know what will happen to those properties which were classified as 2nd Homes / furnished empty up to 01 April 2013. Will they clock over into the LTE category or will they remain categorized as 2nd homes indefinitely even though the category no longer officially exists?

Confused?........I am !

Dave Carter (London Borough of Enfield)

New Homes Bonus

Hi Dave
I know we are still categorising 2nd homes as they are specifically excluded categories of empty in the annual housing returns figures to Central Govt along  with Annexed properties.  The number of 2nd homes and annexes is also accounted for, I believe, on the CTB1 returns which inform the NHB value to the authority.
Also although owners don't receive discount for 2nd homes, they also aren't charged 150% council tax after 2 years even if it is 'unoccupied' as a 2nd home for years. 
We have essentially kept all the various ctax cateogories but just given them a new number after 1st April.

Hi Dave
The key thing is getting Council Tax on board to understand that they still need to keep the codings so that EPOs can do their job!
Council Tax 'raison d'etre' is income management / maximisation so you have to make it clear -  as Alex has said above - that there is a financial implication for the council - specifically NHB for LTE properties - so keeping the property details correctly classified is still important for other council depeartments - even if not from their core role point of view.
The changes to codes have undoubtedly complicated the counting issue - but it can be done!
All the best
Emma Kumar
Empty Property Officer
Brighton & Hove City Council

Here in Tameside Ctax has removed the 10% discount but appears to have retained the identifier code to show the second home status but as these are the properties that they already know about because they have been carried over from the previous year's data, it remains to be seen what the long term problems will be.

Are any colleagues out there carrying out any kind of systematic check into whether previously registered long term empties have been changed into 2nd homes, single occupied or any other way of avioding the premium?
My motivation here is not to catch fraudsters, although that is a by-product of such a check, but by our own rules, homes not registered as empty will cease to attract any assistance that we can offer, [where we can] and this could, if the problem is widespread, put a serious dent in our ability to achieve our aims.
Dave Turner/Amalia Hakim
Greenwich EPOs