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Islington Council to examine council tax exemption for student properties

Monday, September 11, 2017 - Islington Council

Islington Council have announced their intention to examine the council tax exemption for certain student properties to ensure the correct level of council tax is being charged to pay for local services.

According to the council, there are more than 4,000 student flats in accommodation blocks in Islington. In the past, this type of accommodation has been given a block council tax exemption throughout the year as students do not pay council tax.

However, the council has recognised that during the summer holidays, landlords are increasingly letting these student flats as short term lets to tourists and other visitors to maximise their income.

During these short term lets, the student exemption no longer applies and the flats become liable for council tax. The council have calculated that if 1,000 such flats are rented as short term lets over the 10 week summer break, the total council tax due is £121,250.

To close this apparent council tax loophole, Islington Council now requires landlords to supply the tenancy and student occupancy details for every flat for every week of the year. They will be charged council tax for any periods during the year when flats are occupied by people other than students.

Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said:

At a time when Islington faces ongoing cuts to its budgets from central Government, it isn’t fair that landlords have effectively been getting a tax break on renting their flats out over the summer.

Closing this loophole means that the correct levels of council tax are collected, which is fairer for all our residents and helps to pay for local services in Islington and London.

It is believed Islington Council are one of the first local authorities in the country to adopt this approach. 

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