Council tax bill ‘not fair’ says upset resident

16/10/14- Lightning damage to Tony Tub's house in South Cliff, Bexhill. SUS-141016-125137001
16/10/14- Lightning damage to Tony Tub's house in South Cliff, Bexhill. SUS-141016-125137001

A pensioner who cannot live in his home because it was struck by lightning is 
outraged he still has to pay council tax.

Toby Tubb, 79, has complained because the property is uninhabitable and said: “It is simply not fair.”

The four-bedroomed 
property on South Cliff was stuck by lightning in October through the roof so badly it seemed the structure might be damaged.

Tony feared the whole house, where he lived for 40 years with his late wife Denise, and worth an estimated £1 million, would have to be demolished.

Ever since he has not been able to stay there and is in rented accommodation paid by his insurer.

Extensive repair work means he will not be able to move back until summer but this has not prevented the council tax demand. He has been given a 50 per cent reduction which Tony still finds unacceptable.

“It doesn’t seem morally right,” said Tony. “The house is uninhabitable, and this has upset me. If the house is uninhabitable you are charged half the rate it would be if you could live in it. It is a double whammy.”

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “While we do sympathise with Mr Tubb’s plight, the rules do state that we are only able to offer a 50 per cent Council Tax discount for 12 months on properties which are uninhabitable and undergoing repair.

“In unfortunate circumstances such as these, residents would need to make enquiries with their insurance company as to whether the cost of Council Tax would be covered by their building insurance policy.

“ Due to the circumstances, Mr Tubb might also consider applying to the independent Valuation Office Agency for a temporary removal of the property from the rating list, which would mean council tax would not be chargeable.”