A son trying to sell his deceased mother’s retirement leasehold flat has been told that he will have to pay double the council tax on the empty property.
The flat has fallen foul of Chester’s efforts to penalise owners of empty properties so that they are brought back into use – and increase revenues for the council’s payroll.
The flat, which has been on the market since September 2009, illustrates what a dubious legacy awaits the heirs of retirement leasehold – well recognised now as the absolute worst residential property investment conceivable.
John Bottomley, 59, no relation to the leasehold activist MP Sir Peter Bottomley, faces a doubling of the annual council charges of £647 – after a 25 per cent discount as the property in Handbridge is empty.
The full Chester West and Chester council tax bill is £862 which will rise on properties that have lain empty for more than two years by 50 per cent. This means Bottomley will have to pay £1,293 a year.