Tenant farmers must not lose out on £150 council tax rebate, says TFA

Local authorities are under pressure to extend the government’s £150 council tax rebate to tenanted farmhouses that fall outside the payment criteria.

Only homes graded at council tax band A, B, C and D are eligible for the rebate, introduced by the government to mitigate against rising living costs.

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The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) points out that farmhouses provided as part of a tenancy are often in a higher tax band.

It wants local authorities to “use their discretion’’ to apply the rebate to tenant farmers in this situation because farmhouses are often expensive to heat.

Local authorities have already helped occupants of social housing in city centres which are in higher council tax bands.

TFA chief executive George Dunn suggested that the additional support should also apply in rural areas.

Tenant farmers may be struggling to run their houses due to their size, energy efficiency issues, and the continuing squeeze on household incomes, said Mr Dunn.

“Precedent already exists within wider tax law to be fair to tenant farmers having to occupy properties in accordance with the terms of their farm tenancy agreements,’’ he said.

He cited the Principal Place of Residence relief for capital gains tax, a measure which allows tenant farmers in certain circumstances to nominate another house for relief; this could be a property they own and intend to move to when their tenancy ends.