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Is it Class M or Class N that applies to student flats?
The Valuation Tribunal has dismissed appeals by a student accommodation provider seeking ‘Class M’ exemptions from council tax for all its self-contained student flats in Leicester.
The obvious benefit of ‘Class M’ is that the exemption endures during periods when the accommodation is not leased by students, for example during vacations where it might be let out to tourists or to conference delegates. Ordinarily an exemption under Class N does not apply during such periods.
The argument in the case centred around the meaning of the term ‘hall of residence’. The Tribunal accepted the argument made on behalf of Leicester City Council that for the exemption to apply, the accommodation had to meet the condition of ‘comprising a hall of residence’. The Tribunal determined that a ‘hall of residence’ implies something greater than a single self-contained flat. Accordingly, the appeals were dismissed and the Class M exemption was held not to apply.
Jenny Wigley represented Leicester City Council.
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