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Combined Council Tax & Non-Domestic Rated Properties: Waste and Water Fees

An individual/business may incur Council Tax charges and non-domestic refuse charges when operating a self-catering unit / bed and breakfast in the same way that a single premise may be liable for both Council Tax (domestic) and Non-Domestic rates. The way in which these charges are determined ensures there is no double-charging for the individual/business.

The Assessor is independent from the Council and is responsible for determining whether a property is domestic, non-domestic or a combination of the two.  The Assessor’s decision determines whether Council Tax, Non-Domestic Rates, or both are payable for individual properties.  When the Assessor is made aware that the use of a property is different to their original determination, a new determination will be made, effective from the date of change, which could completely remove a property from Council Tax and re-classify it as Non-Domestic Rates, and vice versa, or result in a property being apportioned between Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates.  The Assessor is also responsible for determining the valuation of an individual premise for the purposes of Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates. Where a person operates a bed and breakfast, the Assessor may determine that they are liable for both Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates.  In these circumstances Non-Domestic Rates is payable on the portion used for guest accommodation, and Council Tax (domestic) on the portion of the property used for owner/staff accommodation. The valuations determined by the Assessor will reflect the portion of the property being valued.  The Council must issue Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates bills in accordance with the Assessor’s decisions.

Where the Assessor determines to apportion a self-catering unit / bed and breakfast property between Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates, the Council Tax Band and therefore billed amount will reflect the part of the property which is apportioned for domestic purposes.  This will be a lower Council Tax Band than the value that would have been the case had the whole of the property been used for domestic purposes only.  The Council Tax Band also determines the amount of Scottish Water’s Water and Waste Charges that are due.  The lower the Council Tax Band, the lower the charges for Scottish Water.

The Non-Domestic Rates charge does not include a charge for refuse or recycling collections from business premises.  The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Section 34) sets out the legal requirements for businesses in respect of waste and states that all businesses store, transfer, transport and dispose of their business waste without harming the environment.  The Council is only permitted to collect waste from Non-Domestic properties if a request for the service has been made and reasonable cost recovery charges are made. Businesses are not permitted to dispose of their waste into domestic bins, litter bins or at Household Waste Recycling Centres.   The Council has a responsibility to ensure that businesses comply with their Duty of Care to ensure the waste generated by their commercial element is disposed of in a responsible manner and in compliance with government legislation. This ensures the costs for disposal of waste from businesses are borne by the waste producer and not the tax payer.

Date of guidance: June 2023

Website: www.assc.co.uk

Contact details: communications@assc.co.uk

Disclaimer – Guidance Sheets are written by experienced Members of the ASSC and other experts. The information in the ‘Guidance Sheet’ is provided by the ASSC for use by Members in support of their own independent business decisions. It does not constitute advice or instruction for which the ASSC can be held liable in any way whatsoever. All Members and other readers remain responsible for the consequences of any decisions taken whether in the light of information gained from this Guidance Sheet or not.

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