August 2014 – Council Tax Reduction Based on Residency Illegal
The High Court has ruled that a council tax reduction (CTR) scheme that included a residency requirement is unlawful.
Sandwell Council excluded anyone from claiming a reduction in their council tax unless they had lived continuously in the borough for at least two years regardless of their ability to pay. The court held that this was unlawful on six grounds including that the Council did not have the power to impose the residence requirement because the Local Government Finance Act 2012 restricts the criteria by which classes for council tax reduction can be defined to financial.
The Council also failed to consult on the policy.
As a result of this decision all Councils who have adopted minimum residence rules will have to review their policies.
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