Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Hello All,
    A good friend of mine let out a house to a lady ... she then "did a runner" and he is being chased for the council tax by the local council for the time she was living there.
    She did not pay the council tax at all and her name was down as liable person to pay etc etc with the council.
    My friend now sold house BUT he has a summons received last Wed to appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday) re non payment of council tax during the dates the lady was living in the house!!
    Anybody help me to advise my friend on this one please?

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder reallylight Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    I could, and mostly probably am, wrong here but I think it is the homeowners responsibility unless otherwise stated in a tenancy agreement. Usually, in the agreement, it will state that the tennant must pay the council tax for their period of stay.


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    Basic Account Holder thefenz Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    It is the tenants responsibility so long as it states it in the rental agreement.

    If your friend goes to court and show the tenancy agreement, more than likely he will not even go in to the court room. The council or court may ask for proof of rent payment.

    I say this on good authority as I have been in the same boat before with tenants not paying and council tax pursuing me for their bills.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder nedjma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    It is usually the tenants responsiblity to pay their council tax as I know to my mis fortune. If it does not say in the tenancy agreement that the tenant has to pay the landlord may become responsible.

    I cannot afford to pay my council tax but I rent my flat fully furnished so no bailif can touch a thing. Despite this I am repeatedly threatend and harressed by ROSSENDALES who alledge they are profesionals. Professionals my foot. They are nothing more than glorified loan sharks. I have absolutely refused to their charges


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Thank you reallylight, thefenz and nedjma.

    I have passed the info to my mate and he will be taking to court the tenancy agreement (which states the lady was responsible for council tax) and proof she was paying the rent hence living there during the dates involved.
    He is somewhat confused by the council action as he has already told them she (the lady tenant) was responsible for paying.


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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    I was 'informed' by a hulk of a woman from my local council that if my tenants don't pay C Tax, the council will hold me responsible! I am sure this is wrong as the woman in question was a complete moron and made mistake after mistake, despite holding a senior position and being very full of her own self importance. Nice to know our taxes are spent on the high wages of such deserving individuals
    Basically the council will try it on and grab their money from whoever they think they can bully into paying it. Landlords beware; check your tenancy agreements.


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Hello All,

    The final outcome was ....

    My mate won as it stated in the tenancy agreement the lady was responsible for council tax.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Onwards and Upwards

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Great result Chalkitup - good to know my 'uncredible hulk' at the council was wrong, believe it or not she's just been promoted to a senior position


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    Basic Account Holder nedjma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Underdog13 knowing what the council employees are like here in Gateshead I am not at all suprised that an incompetent like this has been promoted. Most of Gateshead councils staff are as bright as a blackout. In my opinion though the council still has far to much power to harress people who simply cannot afford to pay council tax. I am one of those. I still have arrears and I still can't afford to pay them off.


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    My heartfelt sympathies Nedjma. I think you have to be a special kind of moron to be employed by the council in the first place. Totally agree with you about them having too much power. The irony is, if you don't pay your council tax you can go to prison, but prisoners don't have to pay their council tax while they're locked up - it would be funny if it weren't so tragic.


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    Basic Account Holder nedjma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Yes you also don't have to pay your council tax after you are released from prision. The logic of our goverment. Instead of realising people were refusing to pay council tax because they can't afford it they think they can force people who are low paid and in part time employment like me to have enough income to cover all my bills which I simply don't. I can't afford to pay half my bills this month because I bought food for a change. I still don't have enough food either and that cost me over 85 excluding cat which I forgot. Most of my money goes on my rent. I am having trouble with my landlord. He is refusing to accept my rent and trying to evict me now. I am sure this must be illegal?? Surely a landlord cannot refuse to take rent from his tenant then try to evict them on grounds of arrears he has caused himself?????????????????


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Hmmm sounds to me like your landlord is just looking for an excuse to evict you so he can sell up before prices drop even further or so that he can relet to another tenant with an increased rent. I'd take some advise if I were you Nedjma, tanants have a lot of rights and protection nowadays. I'm sorry you're having all these problems; must be a nightmare.


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder nedjma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Yes I am. I'm in a catch 22 situation. Pay my rent and be unable to pay my council tax or pay my council tax and not be able to afford to meet my whole monthly rent. The goverment in this country arrogantly refuses to admit to or see the plight of people like me and there are many more exactly like me all over the country. In my tenancy agreement it states that me and my landlord have an agreement that I pay him monthly to live in his property which is my home due to paying rent. Due to this agreement I am almost certain it is illegal for him to try to evict me becase he refuses to accept my rent payments. I am sure this is the reason the court refused to evict me the last time he tried to evict me. The court said it was his own fault. He is also trying to evict me for a second time without giving me notice and I know he can't do this. He must provide a tenant with notice and give you time to respond when going through an eviction process. He is refusing to carry out repairs on my property so I think he is hoping to get a new tenant who won't complain about this issue.


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    He sounds like a real jerk! Sympathise over the rent and C tax situation; I think I would prioritise the rent if I were you, but I'm no expert of course! Best of luck.


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    Basic Account Holder deepak Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedjma View Post
    Underdog13 knowing what the council employees are like here in Gateshead I am not at all suprised that an incompetent like this has been promoted. Most of Gateshead councils staff are as bright as a blackout. In my opinion though the council still has far to much power to harress people who simply cannot afford to pay council tax. I am one of those. I still have arrears and I still can't afford to pay them off.
    Gateshead council is the worst council anywhere, unhelpful and moronic. A tenant ran off with out paying the council tax, over 18 months. almost 861.00. I left them with tenancy agreements, indicating the property was let.

    Now they have sent me a summons to court. They want me to provide them with details of where the tenant is now...how would i know where a tenant is now, when hes ran off without paying me!!!

    GOD....I HATE Gateshead COUNCIL!


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    God that's awful, deepak. Have you soken to a solicitor about this?

    I was told by my local council that if the tenant doesn't pay council tax, they will make the landlord pay, but this seems ludicrous to me. Where in law can they make you responsible for someone else's debt?!

    I think these jerks will try it on, as will utility companies, but we have to stand up to them and tell them in no uncertain terms to get lost.

    If I were you, I'd write to the council and tell them to inform you of the tenants whereabouts as you want the rent that is owed to you! What a bunch of brain dead morons - my sympathies to you, Deepak.


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    Basic Account Holder alienloveform Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Things can work the other way around. A previous landlord of mine, presumably thinking I was still living in the US as I had been planning to, faked a new tenancy agreement to cover a period when otherwise they would have been liable for the council tax. Unfortunately, I am back living in the UK, and was extremely surprised to find myself chased for this council tax. I have now submitted proof of different residence to the council, and hope they will pursue the landlord for every penny.
    This landlord never refunded my deposit at the time, so this motivates me to look at legal options also.


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    Basic Account Holder ss002d6252 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    Quote Originally Posted by underdog13 View Post
    God that's awful, deepak. Have you soken to a solicitor about this?

    I was told by my local council that if the tenant doesn't pay council tax, they will make the landlord pay, but this seems ludicrous to me. Where in law can they make you responsible for someone else's debt?!
    The local authority had no right to tell you that - they have no powers to interpret the legislation differently to the way its written.

    I know of an authority where several staff had said similar things (individuals, not council policy) and were given a blunt response from the legal services dept to remind them it was Ultra Vires and should cease.


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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    That's good to know, ss. Thanks for that informative post


  20. #20
    Basic Account Holder militantconsumer Novitiate militantconsumer Novitiate

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    Default Re: Council Tax - Tenant or Landlord Responsible?

    I was in court today for Council Tax (see my thread for full report) and this issue came up in somebody else's case.

    The guy from the Council stated in court that the tenant is usually responsible for the Council Tax. He didn't mention about terms of the tenancy agreement, but did ask to see a copy without giving a reason, so perhaps what the other posters have said is true about whether it has that term in it or not about the tenant being liable.

    He also stated that the landlord is responsible in the case of "HMO" properties ("Houses of multiple occupancy") - which is where the property is divided up with locks on each bedroom door and separate rental agreements.

    As a general point, if you think you are going to win, you might as well go into court and show your evidence to the Magistrate, as you will then be given the opportunity to claim costs against the Council.

    If you lose then the worst that happens is that you get a liability order against you, which just means you have to make an arrangement to pay the Council Tax.

    In my opinion the Council are just firing these summons off to all and sundry because of the excessive profit that they make on them (today at my hearing it was over 2,000 summons and over 130,000 made for the Council just in "costs").

    They shouldn't be allowed to bully thousands of people and then negotiate with the ones that they cocked up on 5 minutes before the hearing. Everyone should stand up and be counted until the system breaks down - Councils are out of control.



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