Council Tax

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    Council Tax

    My local council are chasing me for a 3 month council tax payment from the beginning of last year. I have sent them the tenancy agreement to show that there was a tenant in situ but they are saying that this document does not prove he lived at the house and are asking for documents I do not have not can I get such as utility bills. They have asked for proof of rent payment, yet my accounts are not good enough, he paid by standing order however put the address down as the reference (which I ask for as I have a few houses with the same rent) so they are now saying that anyone could have put that money in my bank (even though the dates match exactly with my accounts). I have also sent them the certificate of submission from DPS, and again they are saying this is not proof that he loved at the property. Can anyone help as I have never had this in the 15 years I have been renting houses.
    TIA

    #2
    Was the period in question during the fixed term of the tenancy?

    I would raise a formal complaint with the council, who seem to be accepting the tenant's assertion that they did not reside there over your assertion that they did.
    Your evidence isn't perfect, but it seems sufficient - unless the tenant can provide better evidence.
    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
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      Was the period in question during the fixed term of the tenancy? yes it was, it wasn't the whole time as I let him out of his tenancy because he was relocated due to his job, so being honest and paying the month between him leaving and the new tenant moving in.

      I would raise a formal complaint with the council, who seem to be accepting the tenant's assertion that they did not reside there over your assertion that they did. - I can't get in touch with the tenant by email or phone so I doubt they will be able to.

      Your evidence isn't perfect, but it seems sufficient - unless the tenant can provide better evidence. - What other evidence do you think I should try and seek?
      Thank you for your response - see above for my reply.

      Comment


        #4
        How did you 'let him out of his tenancy'? Do you have a signed surrender document or some other form of evidence that shows the date the tenancy ended?

        Comment


          #5
          You could appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

          https://www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk...x-liability-2/

          Comment


            #6
            DPT57,

            I agreed to let him end his tenancy in writing, but that isn't the issue. I have a legal tenancy agreement for the full 6 months but I was honest with the council now they are trying to get me to pay for 4 months as he didn't pay anything. They are saying that all the signed documentation , evidence of DPS, etc are not proof he lived there...stumped

            Comment


              #7
              Welshie,

              Thank you for that, very useful

              Comment


                #8
                They are being ridiculous. ss002d6252 will correct me if I'm wrong. If the period in dispute were during a fixed term of at least 6 months, even if the tenancy ended up being terminated earlier than that by mutual agreement, it wouldn't had matter whether the tenant were even in primary residence.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Did you inform the council of the exact move in and move out dates of the tenant?

                  This is the reason I do it on the same day or next day at the very latest and I insist the council gives me a reference for my call and even log the name of the person taking the information, one of my councils even have a online reporting tool. I have heard whispers in my landlord circles that some councils are taking the view that is the tenant absconds without paying council tax they are now pursuing the landlords. How successful the councils are I do not know.
                  Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by KTC View Post
                    They are being ridiculous. ss002d6252 will correct me if I'm wrong. If the period in dispute were during a fixed term of at least 6 months, even if the tenancy ended up being terminated earlier than that by mutual agreement, it wouldn't had matter whether the tenant were even in primary residence.
                    As long as the fixed term is agreed for 6 months or more then the tenant would be liable*, whether resident or not, until the end of the fixed term. Once the fixed term ends then the situation needs reviewed again as occupation etc needs to be looked at. If the tenancy ends early then that doesn't remove the fact that they signed the agreement with a term of 6 months or more - that is the key point from that aspect.

                    That being said, merely being resident would create a liability for him in this case* - proving it is another matter and I've have long arguments over the years regarding these matters to try and sort out a clients account for them.

                    The arguments can get technical so I would advise the OP to sure you they're doing everything right before using a tribunal.

                    * assuming it's not a council tax HMO etc.


                    I have heard whispers in my landlord circles that some councils are taking the view that is the tenant absconds without paying council tax they are now pursuing the landlords. How successful the councils are I do not know.
                    Legally they could only do that in very limited cases - the issue comes about usually where the council don't have sufficient evidence to establish the liability for another party and they chase the landlord on the basis, that would be allowed.
                    Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                    If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you ss002d6252 it is not a HMO. They are adamant that a signed tenancy is not proof....I think an appeal is next

                      Comment


                        #12
                        They are both wrong and behaving oddly - this is quite a common situation and should be routine.
                        There's either more to this than we're aware of, or someone at the council doesn't know how to do their job (and a letter of complaint should sort that - there shouldn't need to be a tribunal on this issue).
                        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


                          #13
                          If you're going to appeal then make sure you go through the correct process with it. It's easy to lose an appeal if it's not done correctly so get help if need be.
                          Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                          If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            jpkeates,

                            You're right, they shouldn't need to have to appeal but I've seem much stranger decisions over the years (and due to the nature of the forums, we only ever get one side of the dispute, the council will always give another side to it.)
                            Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                            If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Don't let this go too far. If the council want to take this further, it won't be a nice warm cosy small claims chambers, it will instead be a magistrates court with a bench who are hardened to reasons and excuses.

                              They will be quite happy to believe whatever the council say and to also allow them their legal costs.

                              Assuming three months would be around £300, there is an argument for just paying it and then complaining/litigating to get your money back (which would be via the small claims court process).

                              Comment

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