Student Properties and Flats - Council tax and Business rates

Danny Bamping made this Freedom of Information request to Plymouth City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Plymouth City Council,

Please can you confirm;

1 - How many Student Properties in the Plymouth City Council Catchment area are exempt from Council Tax.

2 - How many of those are HMO [home and multiple occupancy] student properties.

3 - Under the provisions of the localism act 2011 the city council have the power to charge ANY student HMO property or block of flats - Business rates.

4 - Does the council Charge HMO Student properties and blocks of student flats - business rates. If it does...then...
a) how many HMO student properties are charged business rates...
b) how many Student flats are charged business rates...

5 - If it doesn't then why doesn't it - and which department or individual would be in charge of making such a decision to do so.

6 - Are student landlords and student property companies operating in commerce for profit and trading as businesses? [Yes or No will suffice]

i look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

Danny Bamping

Perrin, Aaron, Plymouth City Council

Dear Danny Bamping

Thank you for your email requesting information regarding Student Properties and Flats - Council Tax and Business Rates.
The application was received on 11th January 2017.

The Council will seek to provide the information that you have requested within the next 20 working days, or let you know how you can obtain it. We may not be able to provide all you have requested; if we do not hold the information, or if an exemption or exception to providing the information applies. We will explain if we cannot provide what you have requested.

Information is usually provided free of charge, but if there could be a fee, we will tell you about any charge before we retrieve the information.

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Yours sincerely

Aaron Perrin
Principal Business Support Officer
Finance
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House, West Hoe Road
Plymouth
PL1 3BJ

T +441752398467
E [email address]
www.plymouth.gov.uk

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Perrin, Aaron, Plymouth City Council

7 February 2017

Dear Danny Bamping

Thank you for your request for information received on 11 January 2017 concerning ‘Student Properties’.

This request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your request is to be supplied with the information detailed in your email. The Council holds the information that you have requested and is detailed below.

1 - How many Student Properties in the Plymouth City Council Catchment area are exempt from Council Tax.

2 - How many of those are HMO [home and multiple occupancy] student properties.

A1&2) We currently have 3620 Class N exempt properties on the Council Tax system; of which 532 are marked with a HIMO (House in Multiple Occupation) indicator.

We also have 505 Class M exempt properties (Halls of residence) on the Council Tax system; of which 150 are marked with a HIMO (House in Multiple Occupation) indicator.

Please note that the classification of a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ is different for Council Tax purposes, and therefore the properties marked with a ‘HIMO’ indicator would not necessarily be HMO student properties.

3 - Under the provisions of the localism act 2011 the city council have the power to charge ANY student HMO property or block of flats - Business rates.

A3) The decision to rate a property for Business Rates lies with the Valuation Office Agency and not the Local Authority. If they have classed a property as commercial, business rates will be payable. The amount charged will depend on the rateable value set.

4 - Does the council Charge HMO Student properties and blocks of student flats - business rates. If it does...then...
a) how many HMO student properties are charged business rates...
b) how many Student flats are charged business rates...

A4) It is the Valuation Office Agency and not the Local Authority who decide which properties should be rated as commercial. If a property is rated, then business rates will be payable.

5 - If it doesn't then why doesn't it - and which department or individual would be in charge of making such a decision to do so.

A5) Business Rates are payable on all entries in the Rating List. The decision to rate a property for Business Rates lies with the Valuation Office Agency and not the Local Authority. All queries regarding the rating of a property should be directed to the Valuation Office Agency, The Apex, Derriford Business Park, Plymouth, PL6 5FL – Telephone: 03000 501501.

6 - Are student landlords and student property companies operating in commerce for profit and trading as businesses? [Yes or No will suffice]

A6) Not that we are aware of.

Please note that the information supplied can mostly be re-used in accordance with the Open Government Licence. The council should be acknowledged as the source of the information, but copyright is maintained for all photographs and third party contributions to the information supplied. For further details see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...

If you wish to discuss this letter or the information that is supplied then please contact me.
If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been handled, you can request a review by writing to me stating the reason for your dissatisfaction.

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Telephone: 0303 123 1113. Website: www.ico.gov.uk
There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

Aaron Perrin
Principal Business Support Officer
Finance
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House, West Hoe Road
Plymouth
PL1 3BJ

T +441752398467
E [email address]
www.plymouth.gov.uk

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