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Hi all!

I am the new landlady, just few weeks before have rented out my first house. The agreement I have signed with the tenants is AST agreement. In the agreement I stated that the landlady (me) is responsible for all bills including Council Tax. This is easier for me as I will be sure that all the bills are paid in full and on time and there are no debts on my property address. But when I emailed to the Council to inform them of my tenants names, moving in/out dates the Council said that they will open new account onto the tenants name and they will have to pay the Council Tax. My question is - do I (the landlady and the owner) have the rights to pay the Council Tax myself from my bank account?

P.S. The property is let as a whole, me (the landlady) not living in the property.

 

Does anyone know for sure what my rights are in this situation?

 

Thanks!

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Anyone can pay the council tax for anybody.

 

I know this because recently there was a local pensioner around here who refused to pay the council tax. But someone paid it before she went to prison. She was *really* annoyed that someone had paid it for her without her permission.

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What benifit was there in informing the council that tenants had moved in?

 

The problem with having an account in your tenants name and you paying is, you have no right to claim any over payments and the tenants have every right to claim back your money as an overpayment should they decide to do a moonlight flick.

 

I would ring the council back and tell them its fallen through and you arent moving.

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What benifit was there in informing the council that tenants had moved in?

 

The problem with having an account in your tenants name and you paying is, you have no right to claim any over payments and the tenants have every right to claim back your money as an overpayment should they decide to do a moonlight flick.

 

I would ring the council back and tell them its fallen through and you arent moving.

 

there was no benefit for me personally but as far as i know this is legal requirement to tell the truth to the council ))) my main residence is at different address now, i had to tell the council i moved out. And my tenants have all the rights to stay legally at the property they rent from me. This is why I told the council about changes.

I am just not sure if i could show the council tax payments (which is in the name of tenants) as my legal expenses to reduce the income tax... And the rent amount in the AST agreement was inclusive of council tax but now it appears that my tenants have to pay it separately.

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I don't see why you can't continue to offset the payments against your tax bill. Keep copies of the bills and the contract as evidence in the unlikely event you get checked out by the tax man.

 

Less unlikely than a moonlight flit would be the tenants becoming entitled to a reduction in council tax as part of their benefits and not informing you. Ring the council and ask them what their policy is with regard to them possibly sending you the bills (even while keeping your tenants responsible for the bills).

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there was no benefit for me personally but as far as i know this is legal requirement to tell the truth to the council )))

 

There would be no untruth in registering yourself at your new address AND still paying the council tax at the old address.

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"I would ring the council back and tell them its fallen through and you arent moving," was clearly encouraging Ilonkapay to tell an untruth.

 

She can certainly claim any legitimate expenses against income for tax purposes If the tenancy agreement says that LL pays council tax, then that is a legitimate expense.

 

It's also verging on the insane in my view. The LL has no duty to pay CT if there are tenants, so why do it when your tenants may not pay you? Moreover, what if CT rises by 10% next year (whatever PM Camelrun says)? Does the tenancy agreement say that you can increase the rent by that much?

 

This job is difficult enough without inviting trouble.

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"I would ring the council back and tell them its fallen through and you arent moving," was clearly encouraging Ilonkapay to tell an untruth.

 

She can certainly claim any legitimate expenses against income for tax purposes If the tenancy agreement says that LL pays council tax, then that is a legitimate expense.

 

It's also verging on the insane in my view. The LL has no duty to pay CT if there are tenants, so why do it when your tenants may not pay you? Moreover, what if CT rises by 10% next year (whatever PM Camelrun says)? Does the tenancy agreement say that you can increase the rent by that much?

 

This job is difficult enough without inviting trouble.

 

Thanks for reply! yes, the agreement says that LL is responsible for all the bills including CT. As far as i heard CT is frozen for the next 3 years?!!! And there will be no increase. Or am I wrong? Anyway I should not have any problems with my tenants because I know them from my previous place of work. They are not "troubles" )))))) However the time will show the truth ))

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There is no obligation for you to give the name of the tenants living at the address. If you have said in the AST that you are responsible for the bills - then you are. You just register with the council as the owner of the property and pay the council tax. How do you intend to ensure that you get the cash from the tenants- or are you including the bills in the rent?

 

As a landlord, I have to say I think you have made a mistake here. Your tenants should be responsible for all bills - the contract is then between the utility (or the council, for council tax) and the tenant - and is nothing to do with you. You will see threads where the electricity or gas company etc. try to get the landlord to pay for bills left unpaid by tenants - but this a try-on - the contract is between the utility and the tenant, and as such is nothing to do with the landlord. Your tenants now have no incentive to be careful with their use of gas, electricity, water etc.

 

Many people still think that a property is credit checked - this is not the case - it is the person who is credit checked so the idea that a property can be "black-listed" is totally out of date.

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Ilonkapav: As you say, you are a new landlady. I just hope that your trust in your tenants proves correct. My experience over the past three years has made me very cynical about tenants.

 

I have previously had dealings with all sorts of people - including criminals and even gangsters and murderers - but that had not prepared me for the lying and cheating that I have encountered from apparently decent tenants. Be decent and helpful to people who are in difficulties, let them run up arrears that they promise to catch up on, and they do a moonlight flit, leaving you without money or remedy. That's not just once, not just the unemployed.

 

The councils have to pay Local Housing Allowance to tenants in most cases, but don't care a hoot if the tenants don't pay the landlord - and many of them think that paying the rent is a pretty low priority - "I had to pay the catalogue people" I was told only last week.

 

I very strongly advise you that at the six month point - assuming they are still there - you draw up a new AST agreement that makes them responsible for CT and all utilities. Then make sure that the council and utility companies transfer the accounts to the tenants. You really have opened yourself up to great financial danger.

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