2 Bed Flat - HMO Council Tax Problem

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    2 Bed Flat - HMO Council Tax Problem

    Hello,

    I gave a new style Private Residential Tenancy Agreeement to a tenant of mine. On the agreement about council tax, it says...

    The Landlord will notify the local authority that the Tenant is responsible for paying
    the council tax and any other associated charges.
    Unless exempt, the Tenant will be responsible for payment of any council tax and
    water and sewerage charges, or any local tax which may replace this. The Tenant
    will advise the local authority of the start date and end date of the tenancy and apply
    for any exemptions or discounts that they may be eligible for.


    Around a month ago, the council said that because the 2 tenants didn't know each other and because each had their own Private Residential Tenancy Agreeement, the flat is considered an HMO for council tax purposes, despite being a 2 bed flat. This was something I thought would never be an issue. It means the landlord is due the council tax instead of the tenant and I should have mentioned the council tax in the lease that the tenant would be billed for the council tax by me, for me to forward to the council, but I didn't. Now, one of the tenants refuses to pay the council tax after originally paying towards it, because he is unhappy after a lot of recent problems. He knows I have made this mistake and is trying to take full advantage of it. The other tenant is moving out at the end of the month, but he is paying the council tax. If the stubborn tenant is the only one living there from 1st January, does that mean it is still considered an HMO, and that means he will be due council tax?

    Does anybody have advice? It is very difficult to evict someone with this new lease.

    Thanks!

    #2
    The rules about who is responsible for council tax are pretty clear (and are not affected by the contents of the contract between you and your tenants.)

    Two people who are not joint tenants in one property means that the property owner is responsible for paying the council tax rather than the occupants. How you get that back from the tenants is your problem not the councils.

    When there is only one occupant one one tenancy agreement, they are responsible for the council tax as it will no longer be an HMO for council tax purposes.

    If another tenant moves in on a separate tenancy agreement, the situation reverts.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      This appears to be a Scottish question. For England and Wales, if you are responsible for the council tax, you cannot them re-bill it to the tenant, although you can set a rent that accounts for it.

      Comment


        #4
        If this is Scotland (sounds like it..) then yes, like Engerland, HMOs with separate tenancies mean council tax is landlord responsibility. Unfortunate mistake.. done the LaS courses for landlords?

        So put the rent up (eg see SaL very recent email on PRT myths which explains process...).

        It's very easy to evict under PRT: SImple serve notice that you are either moving back in or selling, evict, then move back in or sell. Of course if you don't do what you said you'd do then tenant may be entitled to 6 month's rent....

        Slàinte mhath!
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          Please confirm if this is or is not Scotland.

          Good guidance on PRT rent increases on SaL website
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            Why ask the tenant to leave?
            Increase the rent to cover the cost of council tax and start paying it.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment

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