§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce regulations to remove the need for chargepayers to inform community charge registration offices of their new home address or a forwarding address whenever they move to a new charging authority area; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Nicholls
There is no intention to remove the requirement for chargepayers to inform the CCRO for the 395W area concerned of their new address. Individuals may volunteer a forwarding address to the CCRO for an area in which they no longer reside, so that they can receive confirmation that their original register entry in that area has been deleted, but they are under no obligation to do so.
§ Mr. Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance is issued to local authorities about the collection of outstanding community charge from a deceased's estate; and what guidance is issued with regard to the rating of a property rendered empty by the death of the occupier or owner.
§ Mr. Portillo
Guidance on the collection of outstanding community charge where the person who was subject to the charge has died is contained in community charge practice note No. 24.
A standard community charge may arise in respect of a property which was the sole or main residence of the owner and which becomes vacant on his or her death. The Government have provided that no charge is payable until three months after the grant of probate or letters of administration are made. Charging authorities have discretion to extend this period and to set a standard charge which is less than the maximum if they wish. Guidance on this is contained in practice note No. 13 and practice note No. 24. Copies have already been placed in the Library of the House.
We propose for next year an extension to six months after the grant of probate, or letters of administration are made, of the period before an unoccupied property can be charged at a multiplier of more than 0 on the death of the occupier. Details are contained in a consultation paper, "The Standard Community Charge and other Matters", published on 19 July, copies of which have been placed in the Library.