A FAMILY forced to move out of their flooded home have been told they have to pay council tax on both properties.
Daniel Thipthorpe, 40, who lives on Canvey with his wife, two children and two pet dogs, was forced to move last Tuesday because of severe damage caused by floods.
The three-bedroom house has become uninhabitable, with no electricity, and the family have now moved into a temporary home in Thundersley.
Mr Thipthorpe said: “Me and my family have had to move out of the house because the floods destroyed a lot of the property.
We’ve lost many of our valuables.
“We were planning to go away this August, but have had to cancel the trip. I haven’t been to work for two weeks. I’ve lost everything.”
The family plan to live in their temporary home for no more than six months while their house is repaired.
However, the taxi driver has been told by Castle Point Council he will have to pay council tax on both properties from September, after a relief period of one month.
He said: “They told me to get my insurance to cover the council tax, but why should they?
“It is pretty disgusting. The house is only empty because we can’t live there.”
Mr Thipthorpe and his family were not in the property when it flooded and he believes up to four of his neighbours have also been affected.
He said: “I thought the council would be a lot more compassionate, it’s horrible.
“There is no furniture, the house has been stripped to the bone and then I find out they are charging me tax for two properties.”
A spokeswoman for the council has confirmed after a one-month period of no payment, Mr Thipthorpe will have to pay council tax on both properties.
She said: “We are sympathetic to the situation Mr Thipthorpe and others are facing as result of the recent severe flooding which affected Canvey and parts of the mainland.
“It is the case that council tax will become payable after 28 days even though it will be empty, and that Mr Thipthorpe has to pay council tax on his temporary accommodation.”
The council also said it will reconsider if the tax cannot be claimed on insurance.