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Hi All, my first post here wondering if anyone can help please?

Me and my mother are renting a property from my father under Assured Shorthold Tenancy. I am a Carer for my mother and both of us are receiving Housing Benefit making us not liable for Council Tax. We have seperate tenancies until now.

The Housing department visited us recently saying we were being paid as one bed self contained person when we should've been under 1 tenancy and a house of shared facilities - ie with one Tenancy and both our names. We've been liable for Council Tax for over 3 years and have been exempt throughout this time.

 

Now, because of the change of status of our tenancies by the Housing dept they've informed Council Tax who have now made my father - Landlord - liable for Council Tax, backdating it 3 years with a bill of £6,000. I've contacted them and they explained that as the house was being paid as one bedroom with self contained and has now changed to shared facilities my father is now liable for all the Council Tax bills from 2009. I tried to explain we didn't know what difference it made to have seperate tenancies or one and nobody explained anything nor said anything all these years but they just ignore it.

 

Can they backdate so far and they have admitted it was their mistake, in that, 'our claim was on their system this way' so after 3 years we now have to pay without any notice??

 

Anyone please help?

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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Agreement type

Firstly, since you are each renting separately, I do not understand why you have Assured Shorthold Tenancies rather than Licence Agreements. Does it make any mention of who is responsible for paying Council Tax in the agreement?

 

Backdated changes

LAs can backdate changes in liabilty as far back as necessary. I am aware of people who have their council tax rebanded and obtain refunds going back up to 19 years.

 

CT liability and HMOs

If you and your mother have a joint tenancy (or if one of you only had a tenancy), the person(s) names on the tenancy would be liable for Council Tax and eligible for Council Tax Benefit.

 

However if you and your mother have separate tenancies/licence agreements, the LA may have determined that the property is a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO). In HMOs,

 

  1. the landlord is liable for paying the Council Tax
  2. the landlord would pay the Council Tax out of the rent/HB income he receives
  3. the tenants would not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit as they have no Council Tax to pay

CT debt

I am not sure why you are saying you have to pay. It is not your debt, nor your mother's. You and your mother remain exempt from Council Tax.

The debt belongs to the landlord. Did your father tell the Council Tax department that he was renting property out as a HMO?

 

Options

The 2 options for the future appear to be:

 

  • continue to have separate agreements, your father pays the CT, and possibly increases your rent to include the cost to him (he is not able to apply an increase retrospectively)
  • enter into a joint tenancy with your mother, you become jointly liable for CT and can claim CTB (you are not able to do this retrospectively)


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Hi and thanks for the in depth reply.

 

What is a Licence Agreement? We used assured Shorthold as that's what the agents at that time gave us. And no, neither contract stipulates who is liable for council tax.

 

Me and my mother have now changed our tenancy to a joint one and submitted this to the council.

 

As far the CT goes I don't have a problem in being made liable as we are both exempt from it. We also had no idea about the difference in tenancies we just submitted what the agents gave us.

 

Agreement type

Firstly, since you are each renting separately, I do not understand why you have Assured Shorthold Tenancies rather than Licence Agreements. Does it make any mention of who is responsible for paying Council Tax in the agreement?

 

Backdated changes

LAs can backdate changes in liabilty as far back as necessary. I am aware of people who have their council tax rebanded and obtain refunds going back up to 19 years.

 

CT liability and HMOs

If you and your mother have a joint tenancy (or if one of you only had a tenancy), the person(s) names on the tenancy would be liable for Council Tax and eligible for Council Tax Benefit.

 

However if you and your mother have separate tenancies/licence agreements, the LA may have determined that the property is a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO). In HMOs,

 

  1. the landlord is liable for paying the Council Tax
  2. the landlord would pay the Council Tax out of the rent/HB income he receives
  3. the tenants would not be eligible for Council Tax Benefit as they have no Council Tax to pay

CT debt

I am not sure why you are saying you have to pay. It is not your debt, nor your mother's. You and your mother remain exempt from Council Tax.

The debt belongs to the landlord. Did your father tell the Council Tax department that he was renting property out as a HMO?

 

Options

The 2 options for the future appear to be:

 

  • continue to have separate agreements, your father pays the CT, and possibly increases your rent to include the cost to him (he is not able to apply an increase retrospectively)
  • enter into a joint tenancy with your mother, you become jointly liable for CT and can claim CTB (you are not able to do this retrospectively)

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hi shane

 

ASTs should be used where a property is being let as a whole unit, i.e there is only one tenancy agreement (this can include a joint tenancy agreement). In such situations, there is one rental liability, and the persons named on the agreement are liable for the council tax.

 

Licence agreements should be used where different parts of the property are being let to multiple occupants on separate agreements. In such situations, there are multiple individual rental liabilities, and the landlord is liable for council tax.


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The appropriate regulations for a council tax HMO are the council tax (liability for owners) regulations 1992 (as amended).

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