How To Avoid Paying Council Tax On An Empty Property

As a landlord, you do need to consider the issues of an empty property. Specifically, we’re talking about paying council tax and the recent surcharge that is aimed at landlords with empty properties.

Thankfully, there is a way to avoid paying tax while a property is empty. But first, let’s consider what tax you could be expected to pay for your empty property.

What Are You Expected To Pay?

With 2017, it was reported that there were at least 200,000 empty properties across the UK.

These properties are worth £40 billion in total. That same year, Philip Hammond announced plans to get these properties filled, encouraging owners to either let or sell.

The 100% council tax premium for empty properties is a massive issue for landlords and property owners.

The premium means that councils and local authority can charge double what they could previously for empty homes and houses.

As such, landlords with empty properties will be paying double what they should be in council tax.

But it’s not just landlords that are feeling the squeeze. Many people have empty properties that are largely empty.

How can these individuals avoid paying a massive council tax bill each month?

Let It Out

If you haven’t already considered this, you might want to think about letting out the property.

With management companies, this can be a completely off hand experience where it doesn’t eat away into your private time or cause you any stress at all.

You’ll also be able to avoid some of the most expensive tax issues and ensure that you are getting an extra income as well.

Know The Exceptions

You might find that local authorities are keen to get you to pay even if your property is not technically empty.

First, you need to be aware of the definition of an empty property. You might have left your home ‘substantially furnished.’

If that’s the case, then it is not empty, and therefore you are not chained into paying the surcharge.

As well as this, the property may have been empty for less than two years, and if that’s the case, it is not considered empty at all.

This is great news for landlords letting out to tenants and leaving them empty over the summer months.

There are various other exemptions to be aware of as well. For instance, the original occupier of the property could be in prison, in the armed forces or living in a care home.

In any of these situations, council tax does not need to be paid.

Getting Discounts

Council tax is controlled by the local council tax office. As such, it is worth contacting them to find out whether you are liable for council tax for your empty property.

You might find that you are entitled to some sort of discount depending on your situation. While this won’t wipe out the council tax completely, it will make it a lot easier to pay.

Indeed, it is possible for councils to give property owners a discount that allows them to pay absolutely nothing.

This is determined on a case by case basis.

We hope you find this information useful when looking for ways to avoid council tax on an empty property.

Loft Boarding

Having a loft space is something that is viewed as a bit of a luxury for most homeowners these days. Indeed, many people who have a loft might choose to use it as a storage space, while others might prefer to create a loft conversion, assuming there is space. Now, if you are going to get the most out of your loft space, you need to make the most of loft boards.

Loft boarding is the name for any panelling or wooden boarding in the loft that is not part of the flooring. Now, essentially, loft boarding is used as a form of insulation and a way of preventing the heat from escaping from the roof. Loft boarding and loft insulation are generally installed at the same time. Here are some of the core things you need to know about loft boarding moving forward. 

It Creates More Storage

A great reason to go with loft boarding is because it can create more storage space in the loft as a result. It will help to make your loft space more organised and spacious, as well as providing a loft ladder which will allow for easy access and much easier storage options. Make the most of this right now, and you can really improve the loft space as a result. Focus on the best ways of being able to do this, and you are going to be able to work on making the most of the space you have in your home. 

It Can Mean More Space

You are going to need to try to look into doing as much as you can to create more space in the loft. In fact, did you know that the introduction of loft boarding can actually create a stunning 50% more space in the loft area as a result. This is going to provide so many key benefits for the home, and there are a lot of things to think about in this capacity. 

Prevents Heat Loss

Insulation is hugely important to any home for a variety of reasons, and loft boarding is key for stopping heat loss from the roof of the property. This is going to help to make the home more comfortable, not to mention energy-efficient for you. It is crucial that you do as much as you can to look for ways of being able to benefit as a homeowner, and this is one of the best ways of being able to achieve this. 

Boosts the Value of Your Home

Improving the value of your home for the future is something you are going to need to factor in as much as possible. This has so many wonderful factors that you are going to need to consider, and it will make the process of selling your home in the future much easier. Loft boarding will increase the appeal and value of your home moving forward. 

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to making the most of loft boarding, and understanding loft boarding. This is why you need to make sure you do as much as possible to focus on this right now, and you are going to need to consider this. Trying to make the most of loft boarding is so important because this is going to improve your home in a lot of different ways. 

Best Loft Insulation

Choosing insulation for your loft is so important, and this is something that can make all the difference to your home and how it comes across. You need to make sure you think about what you can do to create the best possible insulation for the loft, as well as the benefits that come with this. Make sure you think about what it takes to make the right choice here and focus on choosing the ultimate loft insulation. 

Now, it is clear that there are a lot of things that play a role in helping your home thrive and improve, and this is one of the key ones. Not only does insulation make the home more comfortable, but it also saves you valuable money in the process, as well as adding value to the home too. Here are some of the best ideas for the best loft insulation on the market right now. 

Sheet Insulation

Sheet insulation is one of the most important and popular forms of loft insulation, and a common choice among modern homeowners. You can choose from firm boards of natural or synthetic material, and this is something that can provide some of the best possible insulation for the home. Of course, the only drawback here is this tends to be one of the most expensive forms of home insulation. 

Blanket Insulation

Most people who have large lofts will be familiar with this kind of insulation, and it is by far the most commonly used example. Homeowners interested in this will be offered a choice between rolls of rock, glass, or mineral fibre, which is believed to cause less damage in the long-term. The best thing about this type of insulation is that it’s cheap and effective, and seems to be coming with very little to no problems involved. This makes it the perfect choice for homeowners everywhere. 

Loose-Fill Insulation

Another technique that you are going to need to consider when you are trying to make the most of the insulation you have for your loft is to think about the practicalities that come with this. Loose-fill insulation is fun and quirky because there is a lot of experimenting that can be done with it. Loose-fill is diverse because you can use a range of different materials to do the work when it comes to helping your home stay insulated as well as possible. One of the negative elements of using loose-fill installation is the fact that it creates a great deal of friction when we are preparing to wear a signed 

Trying to make the best choice when you are picking loft insulation for your home can be a massive challenge. Do as much as you can to find the perfect loft insulation to suit your home, and there is a lot you can do here. Make sure you think about what it takes to make the most of this, as well as how your property can benefit. Keep these ideas in mind that are working overtime and see whether it pays off in the long run. 

Top Luxury Interior Designers

Decorating a room or even an entire home requires design skills. Some people might choose to design a space themselves, but others ask for help from experienced interior designers to help them decorate and furnish their property. Even if you’re coming up with your own interior design, the work of interior designers can give you incredible inspiration that helps you to make your decisions. If you want to create a look of luxury for your home or even your business, there are some top luxury interior designers that could give you some ideas that you love.

Axel Vervoordt

Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt began as an art and antiques dealer but has been turning his talents towards design since the 1960s. His style involves authentic materials and often combines the future and the past to create interiors that are contemporary but inspired by the local heritage. The interior design division of the company is now led by Axel’s eldest son Boris, who says that art is integral to their work.

Kelly Hoppen

South Africa-born British designer (and former Dragon’s Den dragon) Kelly Hoppen has more than 40 years in the industry. Her design style is a fusion of West and East, combining clean lines, neutral tones, and a warm sense of luxury. With a diverse portfolio that includes everything from homes and businesses to yachts and jets, Kelly Hoppen can provide lots of inspiration for anyone looking for an opulent style.

Beata Heuman

The Swedish interior designer Beata Heuman describes her style as “playful and irreverent”. Relatively new to the scene, she set up her studio in 2013 and has made a name for her colourful use of pattern, use of bespoke furniture, and a touch of the surreal. Beata always starts with the layout of the furniture when working on a new design and ensures that every item in the room contributes to the final look and feel.

Sig Bergamin

For vibrant design inspiration, you can’t go wrong turning to Sig Bergamin. Hailing from Brazil, the decorator and art collector has global clients. He uses bright colours and furniture from around the world, mixing tropical elements with Old World style and contemporary Brazilian ideas. If minimalism isn’t for you, you are sure to enjoy Bergamin’s style.


Campbell-Rey was set up in 2014 by Duncan Campbell and Charlotte Rey. They began as creative directors and brand consultants but soon moved into interior design. They design playful spaces and often feature elements of surprise in their designs, such as a hidden feature or a multifunctional piece of furniture. They also use plenty of colour and texture, with natural materials and handmade glass.

Robert Couturier

The eccentricity and glamour from this French-born architect and interior designer is sure to surprise and delight. He mixes grand, more traditional elements with contemporary style to create flamboyant, colourful spaces. His style wins him plenty of high-profile clients.

Get inspiration from some of the world’s top luxury interior designs, and you could design your own beautiful new space in your home.

Interior Design Sketches

What are interior design sketches? Simply put, they’re sketches that you make of your interior design plans or aspirations. Think of them as visual plans for you and a construction team to work from. Sketches help you see how things are going to look and what will go where. They’re also very effective at bringing out colours and showing you what works well with what. 

When would you use interior design sketches?

Mainly, these sketches are used before any construction or remodelling work takes place. It’s highly common to use them when planning a home extension as they let you plot out the room and visualise what this new space will look like. 

But, they’re also handy when renovating any other room in your home. Whether you’re planning a loft conversion or a kitchen renovation, interior design sketches bring your ideas to life. 

How do you make interior design sketches?

This is where things get interesting as there are two main approaches. Some people like to come up with their own sketches when planning some painting or decorating. Usually, unless you’re particularly talented, these sketches are quite rough. They’re not overly detailed, and you use them for inspiration. By looking at the different sketches you get a sense of what will look best. 

Typically, a proper interior design sketch is carried out by an expert. They will either use regular pencils to draw everything, or they call upon digital technology to make the images clearer and more accurate. Professional interior design sketches are much more than just pictures. They will often include measurements and dimensions, along with grids to show how things are placed and the amount of room that your new furniture might take up, etc. Overall, they’re very detailed and give you a greater understanding of what your new interior developments will look like. 

What are the benefits of interior design sketches?

As mentioned earlier, these sketches are really beneficial if you want to visualise your ideas. When you have thoughts in your hear – or your designer is giving you ideas – then it’s very hard to picture what they’ll actually look like. This is a problem for most people as they think something will look a certain way in their head, but it ends up looking completely different. 

So, interior design sketches let you put those thoughts and images down on paper. A professional sketch gives you an incredible insight into how your renovation will look. You’ll see how the colours work with one another, how much space is left in the room, and much more. Is it a 100% accurate depiction of what your interior space will look like? Of course not, but it does give you more confidence when choosing the designs you want. 

Realistically, if you’re planning any sort of home renovation or DIY project, then you’ll benefit from some interior design sketches. Even if you do them yourself, you’ll see clear advantages of visualising your ideas and seeing them on paper. They can help inspire new thoughts, and they will help you make the right decisions when decorating your home. 

How To Invest In Property With No Money

Many investing gurus believe that the only route to stable, reliable wealth is to invest in property. 

When you look around at some of the most successful investors in the world, this is true. 

But how do you get started if you’ve got no cash to invest? What are your options? 

Borrow Against Your Home

If you own the property you live in right now, you could potentially borrow against your home. The idea here is to dip into the equity that you’ve already built up by paying off a chunk of your mortgage and then using that as collateral to borrow more money. 

For banks, borrowing against your property makes intuitive sense. After all, when you first bought your property, you borrowed the full amount, minus whatever deposit you paid. 

If you bought your house a decade ago, the chances are that it has gone up in value, allowing you to borrow more than you did initially. Often you can get together enough cash to buy a small flat or terraced home that you can then rent out for profit. 

Remember, not all mortgage lenders will allow you to borrow for a second home, and most that do will want to see stellar credit history. 

Rent Out Rooms In Your Home

Here’s another idea to invest in property: rent out rooms in your home. 

Current tax rules state that you’re allowed to rent out parts of your home to lodgers tax-free for the first £7,500 that you earn in any given year. 

You can then use this money either as income, or to fund the deposit on your next property. 

Finding lodgers is easy. Websites like can help. 

If you don’t want full-time lodgers and would prefer short-term lettings, then sign up for Airbnb. Homeowners can set the times of year that they want to welcome guests, giving flexibility. What’s more, many property owners find that they can charge high prices, especially if they live near tourist hotspots. 

Invest Along With Friends And Relatives

You might not have a lot of cash knocking around in the bank, but your friends and relatives might. You could all invest in the deposit together, sharing the ownership and mortgage repayments. You might not get a large share, but it is a good way in. 

If you have no money for the deposit right now, you could take out a small loan to fund it. Doing this is risky, though, as it will increase your debt-to-income ratio, something that banks consider when deciding on whether to grant a mortgage. 

Buy A Property ETF

You don’t have to have £20,000 sitting around in an account somewhere to invest in property. You can buy a share of property in the form of an ETF. 

ETFs or exchange-traded funds, usually track a pool of commercial and residential properties. You buy the ETF through your favourite investing app and then the company that manages it assigns you a share of ownership of all the properties in its portfolio. You’re then free to buy and sell in tiny increments.

Forget £20,000. With ETFs, you can start with £20. 

Our Pick Of Top Home Improvement Blogs To Follow

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Good Homes Magazine

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Homey Improvements

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Builders West London -

Make Your Home Smarter With AI

You’ve got a smartphone, but have you got a smart home? If you’ve haven’t tapped into the growing trend of AI yet, it’s time to discover what awaits you if you choose to live in this wonderful world.

Artificial intelligence in the home

If you’re not already conversing with an electronic device on a daily basis, there’s every chance that it’ll only be a matter of time until you cross to the AI side its also a great addition to any property refurbishment project.

You only have to turn the TV on or browse a few websites on your phone or tablet to see or hear adverts for appliances that promise to make your life easier.

Take Alexa, part of Amazon’s Echo range, as an example. Launched in 2014, Alexa is a virtual assistant, which can do everything from playing songs to telling you the time and the weather forecast. Sales of Alexa hit 2.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, and this wasn’t even the most popular smart speaker. Google Home sold 3.1 million units in the same time period. The chart below shows the dramatic rise in popularity of voice speakers and home assistants in recent years.


Artificial intelligence is not just designed to eliminate mundane tasks and make life less stressful for humans.

It can also play a role in helping you do your bit for the planet. With many of us keen to go green, inventions such as smart thermostats are an excellent addition to the home. AI can track your usage and analyse your habits to regulate your heating systems, reduce bills and adapt your home environment.

The Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation device, for example, uses data related to your location to ascertain when there’s nobody at home and shut off the heating system.

It also uses this intelligence to activate home security systems, so you can kill two birds with one stone. You’re not only reducing the risk of wasting energy and overspending on electricity. You’re also keeping your home safe.

You can make your home even smarter by connecting different AI devices. A Nest thermostat, for example, can work with a Google Home device.

On the subject of security, another device that is making waves in the AI marketplace is the doorbell camera and associated front door security systems.

In years gone by, most of us relied on an alarm, which produced piercing noises, to protect our homes. Today, using sophisticated AI, we can monitor our driveways on the go.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the train or at the office, if there’s somebody lurking around your front door, you’ll be able to see them and even talk to them. You can connect devices to smartphone apps and keep an eye on your property 24 hours a day.

It is estimated that more than 22% of burglars access properties through the front door, so investing in smart technology could reduce your risk of theft significantly.

If you haven’t joined the AI revolution yet, maybe it’s time to check out what’s out there and start enjoying the benefits of smart living.