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Mother-of-four facing ‘unjust’ council tax hike because she can’t sell former home

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 March 2013

Beverley Gold and Gary Oldham with their children Harrison Pinkus, 9, Rebecca Pinkus, 9, and Gabriella Oldham, 5

Beverley Gold and Gary Oldham with their children Harrison Pinkus, 9, Rebecca Pinkus, 9, and Gabriella Oldham, 5

Archant

A mother-of-four will face a large and “unjust” council tax hike because she is unable to sell her former Hainault home, which has been empty for more than two years, under new council reforms.

Beverley Gold, 42, put her property in Clinton Crescent up for sale in 2011, but says that because prospective buyers can’t get mortgages, she will be forced to pay £2,097 in council tax a year from April 1 or split up her family.

The empty homes premium, which was agreed by Redbridge Council in February, will mean residents will be asked to pay an extra 50 per cent tax on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than two years.

Ms Gold, who is living with her partner Gary Oldham, in Leyswood Drive, Newbury Park, said of the extra £699: “I think it is unjust.

“I have sold the house five times over but people are forced to pull out because they can’t get mortgages.

“I am really upset about the situation. All I’ve got is a little bit of equity in the house to help provide for my children in the future, to do my best by them, which the council are just taking away.”

Ms Gold believes potential buyers are also being put off by the three per cent stamp duty which they would need to pay as the property is more than £250,000.

She said: “If I was making a subsidy on the house I would understand but I’m not. The council just want to get more money out of me.

“The only way I can get out of the payment would be to move back and split my family up.”

The council also agreed to scrap council tax reductions for properties that are empty, unfurnished and undergoing major repairs.

Mr Oldham, 46, added: “Why are the council picking on people in the worst positions? We are not gaining anything from the property being empty and we will be paying double council tax and only using one lot of services.”

A lived-in Band D house will cost £1,398 a year in council tax from April 1.

Redbridge Council did not respond to the Recorder’s questions before we went to press.


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