Discretionary Empty Property Premium Waiver

This is a discretionary discount available in the Uttlesford District Council area and can apply to domestic properties left empty for two years or more.The Council are using powers under section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to introduce a class of exceptions where the Council Tax premium will be reduced subject to the defined eligibility criteria being met.

Apply online for an empty property premium waiver

Applications

All requests to waive the Empty Homes Premium must be made in writing. We have an online application available on our website or a PDF version is available by email or for printing.  The applicant must provide documentary evidence showing that genuine, continuous and realistic action to bring the property into occupation is being taken.

You can Icon for pdf download a pdf of the application form [330.66KB], print it and send your completed form and documentary evidence to Uttlesford District Council, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER

You can also apply online - the form has the facility to upload copies of your documentary evidence. Alternatively, your documentary evidence can be sent by post to the above address, clearly stating your name and the address of the property concerned.

The premium charge will not be waived where evidence suggests that the owner has not taken all possible steps to return the property to occupation. In the case of a property for sale, the premium charge will not be waived where evidence suggests that the asking price is too high and in the case of a property for rent it will not be waived where evidence suggests that the rent is too high.

The premium charge will not be waived where evidence suggests that the owner has caused any delay in works being started within the six month period from the date of their ownership. If works were started within the six month period but there has been a delay after that period, the premium charge will not be waived where evidence suggests that the owner is responsible for the delay in completing the works.

Calculation

In all cases, the Council will decide the length of time for which a waiver will be awarded on the basis of the evidence supplied and the facts known. The start date of a waiver will normally be the date of application, providing the Council is satisfied that the reasons for the waiver existed at that time. The waiver will continue until the end of the financial year, subject to those circumstances continuing.

The Council will review the award and request confirmation that the circumstances leading to the award of the waiver remain applicable. The Council reserves the right to make routine inspections of the property at any point during the period of the waiver. It is expected that the property will be occupied by the end of the period of waiver. Where this is the case, the Premium will no longer apply. Where that is not the case and the property remains empty, the waiver will be removed and the premium will be charged retrospectively.

Criteria

Change of ownership

Only where the new owner has taken genuine action to return the property to occupation within a period of six months from taking ownership and can provide evidence that the action has been continuous and realistic.

Properties left to someone in a will and in need of renovation

Only where the new owner takes action to return the property to occupation within a period of six months from taking ownership and can provide evidence that the action has been continuous and realistic.

Legal or official actions causing a delay

Only where action to return the property to occupation has been delayed by legal action or by the actions of any official body with powers to take such action e.g. the council, solicitors or a utility company, etc. Action to return the property to occupation within a period of six months from the date the official action ended and can provide evidence that the action has been continuous and realistic

Properties with a restrictive covenant

Only where the owner is genuinely seeking to sell or rent the property in the prevailing local market conditions (realistic selling price or rent level) and can provide evidence that the action has been continuous and realistic.

Where the owner is in negotiation with the Empty Homes Team

With a genuine view to returning the property back into occupation at the earliest possible date.

Listed Buildings

Where a listed building has been empty for two years or more and the owner needs to carry out major repairs to bring the property back into occupation. In this scenario the decision to grant a waiver will take into account the major repairs required and what is considered a reasonable time to complete the repairs.

Exceptional Circumstances

Where the dwelling has remained empty beyond a two year period due to exceptional and/or unforeseen circumstances and/or any other circumstances, proven to be beyond the control of the owner/liable person.

Appeals

If you do not agree with the decision we reach, you must appeal the decision in writing setting out the grounds for your appeal to the revenues manager at:
Uttlesford District Council, London Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 4ER or by email to:
revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk
and we will advise you of the outcome. If you have not received a reply after 2 months you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

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