Landlords’ industry body urges the Government to introduce tax relief on empty homes

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is urging the Government to instruct local authorities to introduce a relief on council tax in rental properties that are empty because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The news comes after a survey by the NRLA found that 41 per cent of landlords are concerned about covering the unexpected costs of council tax and utility bills, with a large number of homes left empty because tenants have been unable to take up tenancy or have moved out to live with family during the current lockdown restrictions.

The industry is also facing the prospect that finding new tenants is going to be a significant challenge in the foreseeable future, with landlords becoming liable for council tax on the property if they don’t have any tenants.

The NRLA is now asking the Government to instruct local councils to exempt houses that have been left empty because of the COVID-19 crisis from council tax, to help aid the industry through the challenges ahead.

There has not yet been a support package announced for landlords, despite the Government announcing support measures for small businesses, large businesses and the self-employed through grants, loans and employment support measures.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “It is manifestly unfair for landlords to be asked to pay council tax on properties which are empty, and likely to remain so, because of the impact of the pandemic.

“Whilst we remain supportive of the measures taken so far by the Government, landlords are being asked to absorb more costs at a time when they are least able.”

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