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Council Tax Update - Student Halls Do Pay!

Council-Tax

More than 2 years after originally asking this question, we finally have confirmation that student halls do pay council tax in the same way as other category 'N' shared housing (student HMO's).

 What Is The Background?

As local landlords, we have felt aggrieved that student halls appear to be 'tax exempt' in terms of contributing to the local economy (unlike student HMO's),  are available for short term holiday lets in the summer, severely impacting the local serviced accommodation marketplace and yet everyone loves them and hates the private rented sector.  

We have thus been on a campaign to ensure they are treated in the same way as any other private sector rented dwelling.

 What Is The Answer?

We have been unable to get a clear answer until now.

We gave specific examples and asked: "Enterprise House is class N (it is not Uni owned and the Uni do not nominate any of the students). I understand it is arranged as 60 one/two bedroom flats. I would therefore expect you to be levying council tax on effectively 60 properties in this building. As most flats are student let, I would expect student exemptions to be in place for the 10 month student year, but I would also expect you to be charging CT for the period when the building is empty during the summer (especially as at this time, the rooms are available for holiday let on booking.com). Please can you confirm my logic and the fact that CT is collected on this building."

PCC Responded: "Enterprise House is banded as individual dwellings (flats) and council tax is charged accordingly. If there is a student occupier in any of the individual flats then Portsmouth City Council applies student reduction/exemption in accordance with legislation. For any period of time that any flat is not student occupied, then again Portsmouth City Council charges Council tax in accordance with legislation. In answer to your question I confirm council tax is charged when appropriate to do so."

We also asked: "Catherine House is interesting. I believe it is class N as it is not Uni owned and most of the rooms are let by the owners, only a minority are Uni nominated (so maybe they are class M but the rest are definitely N). Can you confirm that you levy CT on the individual dwellings within Catherine House please."

PCC Responded:  "As with Enterprise House, the Catherine House 'properties' are also banded as individual dwellings (flats) and council tax is charged accordingly. Whilst some student occupants will be nominated by the University, as this is not the majority, the class N rules will typically also apply. If there is a student occupier in any of the individual flats then Portsmouth City Council applies a student reduction/exemption in accordance with legislation. For any period of time that any flat is not student occupied then again Portsmouth City Council charges Council tax in accordance with legislation. In answer to your question I confirm Council tax is charged when appropriate to do so."

So the only open question now is whether they get charged as much as we do - watch this space.


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