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Here’s how council got £14,000 back in unpaid council tax

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Fenland Council is trumpeting the success of an initiative to bring homes in disrepair back into use – and in one instance has seen £14,000 owed in Council Tax repaid.

Councillors were reminded that the policy is to support property owners to bring long-term empty homes back into use, helping to address the district’s housing needs.

A report to Cabinet highlights where a designated officer “continues to support owners with bringing their properties back into use”.

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The report says help has been provided to “several of them” to apply to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to request removal of the property from Council Tax (CT) whilst they renovate.

“Through engagement with the owner and monitoring the renovation progress they inform CT when the property is near completion,” says the report.

“They issue a completion notice and the property is brought back into council tax.

Before and after photos of the bungalow that Fenland Council helped bring back into use. Picture: FENLAND COUNCIL

“This ensures the property is bought back into the system, council tax is paid and prevents the property being wrongly categorised on the system.”

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Councillors were shown “an example of when the officer supported an owner to sell his property and obtained agreement for him to repay his CT debt of £14,000.

“The officer then worked closely with the new owner to get the property removed from CT so they could renovate the property.”

The report added: “This was an extensive renovation project due to the poor state of the property which also required an extension.”

Councillors were told the bungalow is on the market for sale and has received two offers.

And it has been “brought back into CT and in the next few months will become occupied as a family home”.

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