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Double council tax shock for retired army nurse

Published date: 29 July 2014 |
Published by: Free Press Reporter
Read more articles by Free Press Reporter


 

A RETIRED army nurse who served in Bosnia and Iraq will have to fork out two lots of council tax for her home of 20 years.

Nerys Davies, 57,  is a former Sergeant Major and treated injured soldiers all around the world often being winched from helicopters for emergency treatments.

She bought her house in Cefn Brith near Cerigydrudion in 1995 and looks after elderly parents who live near by.

But instead of a peaceful retirement at the North Wales beauty spot the former soldier said she is selling up because she can't afford the extra £1,000 per year demanded by officials.

“I'm retired and live off my war pension so I have to be careful but if I was on benefits the council would pay for everything,” said Miss Davies.

“The council came and said I haven't broken any rules and no walls have been pulled down or anything.

“It's always been a four bedroomed house but I suppose if you had a granny or a teenager you could put them in there.

“Then somebody from the valuation office came back and said this was two properties but it isn't.

“I put a flimsy door there to stop other doors banging when it gets windy then they (the valuers) quoted all these things from the book and said that would be treated as another house.

“At the tribunal I asked if I have got a semi-detached house why are the electricity, water and sewerage all on the same bill.

“Now I've been told to close my back door off (on the annexe) but if I brick that up it could be against fire regulations.

“It just doesn't make sense and I think once they dig their heels in no matter what you say doesn't matter.

“I offered to take the middle door down and remove the cooker from the utility room but the chairman at the tribunal said 'no that's overruled'. 

“Now they want £1,000 more per year and I don't know where to go from here because I can't afford to fight it because I have to account for every penny.

“I'm just an old soldier whose retired from the army after 26 years and I'm very angry because they just don't listen.”

At the hearing the VOA listing officer David Taylor accepted: “The property was one dwelling," but under the Council Tax Chargeable Dwellings Order 1992, he said: “that the dwelling now consisted of two self-contained units.”

Adding it “might not be possible” to sell it as two properties.

A VOA spokesman said: “Where part of an existing home is built or adapted for use as separate living accommodation, it may be treated as a self-contained unit and have its own council tax band.

“The VOA is also happy to review the council tax band of any domestic property, free of charge and without an appeal.

“Billing authorities may also apply an exemption from the council tax bill.”

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