Council Tax Responsibility

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    Council Tax Responsibility

    I'm planning on renting out my primary residence and going traveling for a year with my family.

    My youngest son is due to start school in 2 years so will need to be resident in the area at the time of application and a council tax bill is the main means to show residency. (He will be resident in the area once school starts obviously)

    My question is, can I ask any tenant to pay the council tax to me so it is kept in my name? Can this be included in the AST? Are there any legal considerations in doing this?



    The tenant will be liable for the council tax, whatever you agree.

    The tenant will probably want to record their address with the state for one reason or another (voting, benefits, driving licence, passport, tax return) and discrepancies may be visible (I don't know to what extent different data sets are associated).

    The same property can't be the primary residence for two different people (as you will be renting it on the basis that the tenant has exclusive control of the property), so my guess is that you won't count as being resident while you are living elsewhere for a year.
    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).


      Sounds like fraud to me.


        You also cant guarantee that the child will be resident in the area once the school term starts. If the tenant doesnt move out when you return it takes on average several months to evict them through the courts. If you need to be in the property by a particular date then the usual advice is not to rent it out while youre away.


          As said above, sounds like fraud and I hope the council spot it.

          However, one legal approach that should work. If you exclude part of the property from tenancy then, AIUI, landlord remains responsible for CT. So, exclude, say, a lockable large cupboard - you'll probably want to leave a load of stuff anyway - and include in tenancy both exclusion of cupboard & occasional access to it (otherwise you've no right of access to cupboard). Explain to tenant what you are doing (not why..) and that the rent is thus adjusted up to include CT. Make sure post re-directed so you get any bills and don't end up in court (CT being about the only debt you can go to jail for..).

          The Council Tax (Liability for Owners) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

          (b)is inhabited by a person who, or by two or more persons each of whom either—

          (i) is a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling; or
          But, as said, hope & hopefully council will find you out: And, clearly, a terrible example to your dear son of how to behave as a decent citizen.
          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...


            Yup fraud.


              It would be for school to deny your Application for suspected fraud, - what Insurers term as 'fronting'.


                As pointed out above - if part of the property was retained by the landlord and excluded form the tenancy agreement then the property remains a council tax HMO and the landlord remains liable as per s8 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the council tax (liability for owners) regs 1992. This is an issue that was debated in R (Goremsandu) v London Borough of Harrow as to exactly how and when the situation would apply - Goremsandu was the reverse of this situation in that the tenancy did not exclude a room that the landlord used for storage and therefore the tenants could have reclaimed use of the room but didn't. The court found that the tenants had the full tenancy and by their choice allowed the landlord to use the room. If the landlord had excluded the room then the situation would have been different.

                One issue I would expect the council tax argue in any case is that the abscence is only temporary and that there is an intention to return to the property and, on that basis, your 'sole or main reisdence' remains in the property for council tax purposes as 6 of the Local Government Finance Act.
                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.


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