Landlord (without p/permission) not paying Council Tax

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    Landlord (without p/permission) not paying Council Tax

    last year my husband and i moved into a converted barn on the farm where my horse was stabled. At the time the landlord said council tax and bills were included in the rent. Its since emerged that not only are we not on the council tax list, but the landlord does not have planning permission for residential use for the flat we are living in. There are 6 of these flats with people living in them and the landlord is clearly pocketing the cash (they specifically asked for cash) and not paying our council tax, they even asked us to go out for the day when an inspector from the local council came down recently.
    We are trying our best to find somewhere to move to at the moment, but my question really is about the council tax. What would happen should the council find us living there, would we have to pay back tax? and could they insist we move out straight away? The landlord never gave us an agreement and as we were liviing next door to them it didn't seem a problem, so we have nothing to prove what we have paid them. I should add they aren't reasonable people so no good talking to them!
    We do have our bank accounts registered here and the post all goes to the main house, we do not have our own postal address within the farm, and they pass our post on. Does this mean it would be their responsibility to add us to their council tax list and not our responsibility? We are currently looking for somewhere to move to and may have something in the pipeline subject to contract.

    By accepting rent from you, your landlord has granted you a tenancy. The council, if they decide to act, will apply to him in the first instance for council tax and the only way he can shoulder the blame on to you is to produce his copy of your AST, signed by yourself which indicated that you have accepted liability for council tax! As he hasn't got this, he will have to pay the tax himself as he agreed.

    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


      It very much depends whether your landlord has residential landlord status or not, and converted properties often come within this category. If all the units are separate and they are assessed as such for council tax than I would imagine that the LA had given planning permission for the conversions. Even without an agreement you might have an oral AST, or you could be lodgers. It's a difficult question to answer. As far as council tax is concerned I don't know whether you have liability. Others might have a view.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.



        Who is responsible for paying the bill?
        There's one Council Tax bill for each home. Usually the person living in the property has to pay the bill. Spouses and partners who live together are both responsible for paying the bill.

        The person at the top or nearest to the top of the following list has to pay the bill:

        • lives in the property and owns it
        • lives in the property and has a lease (this includes 'assured tenants' under the Housing Act 1988)
        • lives in the property and is a 'statutory' or 'secure' tenant
        • lives in the property and isn't a tenant but has permission to live there
        • lives in the property (for example a squatter)
        • has a lease of six months or more on the property, but doesn't live there
        • owns the property but doesn't live there

        You can't be responsible for paying the bill if you're under age 18.

        End Quote



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