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
    Basic Account Holder caymaister Novitiate

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    Default Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    I thank you in advance for any advice. I can't seem to find any info dealing with this. CAB are about as useful as a wax cooker.

    I will leave out place names - so i can't be identified.

    I am a full time student in X council. I rent a flat as somewhere to sleep on the days I have lectures. I also have a home in Y council. I am married. The X council asked me to tell them who is resident at my flat in X council. I said, I am married, my wife will visit me, what does 'resident' mean? how many days can my wife stay before being classed as resident? They didn't answer and just decided that my wife is therefore resident. They promptly sent a bill giving me the 25% discount for being a student but said my wife must pay because they assume my wife must be resident.

    My wife is unemployed, although, we pay council tax in Y council, as we are too lazy to claim for council tax credit. But, paying in 2 councils was a bit much, so we assumed that if the council charges council tax for my wife in council X, then it can also give council tax credit. The council tax credit was refused because my wife couldn't prove she is resident at the flat in X council. Well Duh! we told the council she isn't - they said they assume she is.

    So, now they say, that 'oooo your wife is most definitely resident because she said she was, in this application for council tax credit' - ignoring of course that it was refused on the grounds she cannot prove she is resident!

    Basically, apologies for the long post. But what is the legal basis for this? can the council charge me council tax purely because i am married? they have said i need to prove that my wife is not resident here. but i am not really sure how to do that. (they won't provide a definition of what residence means)

    i understand that as the leaseholder i need to pay council tax (but of course i am a full-time student so am entitled to pay no council tax)

    who is in the right here? do i really have to pay council tax for myself and my wife in both councils? seems a bit harsh. they talk about the 'main address' and the flat is neither mine nor my wife's main address in many respects. our belongings are at our main address in Y council, our bank statements go there, we do everything there. the flat is purely a crash pad for a few weeks during term time.

    any idea how to approach the council. i feel a bit insain repeating the same thing to them and getting the same moronic response.



    thanks again!

    if i just ignore the council tax letters what will they do? will i get taken to court? how will a court view what i have written here?


  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder revshelp Novitiate

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    Default Re: Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    Hi, hope I can help you a bit. You will usually pay Council Tax on the property which is your & your wife's "sole or main residence", theres no exact definition but previous court cases have given general guidance things which should be taken account include where you spend most of your time, security of tenure, intention to return, where your registered to vote, where your doctor is, where your mail goes, etc. Which from what you've said is at the property in Council Y, where you should have a 25% discount as a student.

    The property in Council X would then be your second home. I'm not completely certain by you should get the 'Class N' student household exemption at the property, if not then a discount between 50% to 0% depending on the council for furnished second homes.

    If you ignore their letters they will assume your not contesting the liability and expect you to pay. You'll only get taken to court if you fail to pay the instalments.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder disgruntled4 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    Be careful because what the council will do is think you are both resident at your main address in council Y and charge you upto 100% for an empty property in council X. You'll end up paying in full twice.

    Bonkers I know - basically means every student in the land doesn't actually live at their student address (because it arguably isn't permanent enough), should claim their student discount at their parents' address and pay upto 100% for an empty property where their university is.

    Would be interesting to read what happened?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    Based upon the information, you have supplied, it appears that: -
    1. Y is the main residence for both you and your wife
    2. You would be entitled to 25% discount on Y assuming no other adults resident
    3. You or your wife may be entitled to Council Tax Benefit for Y as a couple - depending upon your income
    4. X is a second home
    5. You would be entitled to second home discount on X - the amount of discount for second homes varies from Council to Council - and can range between 0% and 50%
    6. You would not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit for X



  5. #5
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    Default Re: Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    Have you checked the level of second homes discount offered by X?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Liability for council tax - living together or not?

    just realised this thread is nearly 12 months old - god knows why it has been resurrected



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