Not directly a planning issue but related. I have just become aware
that the VOA (Valuation Office Agency) seems to have changed the way
that some shared accommodation is valued for Council tax calculations.
This looks quite radical and means that some rooms in HMOs could be
valued separately and require Ctax to be paid for each separate room
rather than apply the Council Tax to the whole 'dwelling'. I guess
this is going to be very difficult for the VOA to identify and
determine the valuation status of these places. and really difficult
for local authority Council Tax officers to contact residents and
apply Ctax bills.
My first thought was that these residents don't have separate
addresses to apply the tax to, just a room in a house/building. There
will be one address with people sharing and having their own room,
irrespective of what is in that room. There will probably be a lot of
turnover of people as is the nature with HMOs and many residents may
be entitled to exemption. It could also I guess relieve the landlord
of their Council Tax obligations and put it onto the residents
instead. Making cheap accommodation even more difficult to afford.
I think one key issue here is that it says that where a room in a HMO
has its own kitchen OR (or is important) bathing facility, it will
then have it's own valuation applied to it. So it will effectively
become a separate Council Taxable unit.
In Planning terms, I think a room in a shared house would be part of
one single HMO 'dwelling' unless the room had BOTH cooking AND bathing
facilities in which case it would become a separate planning
'dwelling' and could contribute toward housing requirements as a
I'm not sure what is behind this but it looks to me like in some
cases it's going to hit people in need and let landlords off the hook
with paying Council Tax.