Leeds pensioner, 90, told he must pay council tax on TWO homes

A 90-year old pensioner from Yeadon has been told by Leeds City Council he HAS to pay council tax on his former home, despite no longer living there.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 6:00 am

Cliff Sharpe had moved into serviced retirement flats during the Christmas period, and had planned to sell his former home, which now sits empty.

When someone moves into a care home, the council would not usually charge council tax on the former home before it is sold.

However, as Mr Sharpe moved into a serviced retirement flat, which does not qualify for the exemption, he now having to pay two lots of council tax.

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Mr Sharpe has been told by Leeds City Council he HAS to pay council tax on his former home, despite being unable to sell it

Leeds City Council has said it would let Mr Sharpe to defer his payments on his old property until it was sold.

But the situation is unclear due to the the COVID-19 lockdown, as it is unclear when restrictions will be lifted, and when Mr Sharpe can sell his house.

Mr Sharpe’s son Chris claimed the council should use some discretion in dealing with the situation and allow his dad to forgo council tax payments on his old house.

He said: “My father suffers from COPD, and has been deteriorating over the years. He had a bad fall around spring last year, which led to him moving to the flat.

“But he now has two homes – one of which he can’t sell.

“He does have savings, but those savings are depleting at quite a fast rate and it’s still taking money out. He was hoping the house would have been sold at the same time.

“When he moved into his new place we enquired about stopping the rates. Eventually if the house is not sold, we get to a point where we deplete all his savings – he has about a two-year buffer.

“They are in the right but they could have made a special case – there must be a few people in this position at the moment.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “As with all council tax payers financially impacted by the coronavirus, the council is understanding that some residents may need their payments to be deferred.

“Having reviewed Mr Sharpe’s circumstances, we are unable to waive the council tax charge but it can be deferred until such time as his former property has been sold.”

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