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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Changes to rating liability for homes in private rented sector

Rating liability in the private rented sector has long been a bone of contention.  We've discussed, on numerous occasions, the types of problems that tenants and landlords often encounter when trying to deal with rating liability and rates arrears in privately rented properties.  The Minister for Finance & Personnel, Simon Hamilton, has announced a change that aims to simplify the rating system.  

Liability for rates in tenanted properties

Article 20 of the Rates (NI) Order 1977 contained provisions explaining when rates liability would rest with the owner of a residential property, rather than the occupier.  Liability depended on both the capital value of the property and the frequency of rental payments.  The Financial Provisions Act (NI) 2014 amended the Rates Order to simplify things so that now the owner will be responsible for properties with a capital value of less than £150,000 while the occupier will be responsible where the capital value is greater than £150,000. 

Changes to rating discounts

Minister Hamilton also referred to the change in rating discounts for landlords.  The discount for landlords who pay rates on a portfolio of properties in one lump sum by September is now standardised at 10%. 

Problems with rates

Ratepayers will see changes in this year's bills.  Some will see an increase as a result of the changes to council boundaries, while luckier ratepayers may find that their rates bill has decreased this year.  Ratepayers who are having difficulty paying a domestic rates bill or who are worried about the possibility of falling into arrears or facing legal action can speak to one of our advisers for help.  

 

 

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This article was written on 3 April 2015. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.