Advice on Counsil tax needed

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    Advice on Counsil tax needed

    Hi there.

    I have or can have a problem with Counsil tax and my landlord (company).

    Before signing the contract we agreed with the landlord representative that all bills and Counsil Tax are included in the rent.
    When we signed the contract this condition wasn't there so we added that all bills are included in writing and agreed that he (representative) will bring new contract the next day. The guy was unreliable and he never brought the new contract despite my calls.

    A few weeks passed, I haven't received any bills so I decided to let it go.

    After half a year living in the flat I received first Counsil tax bill on my name. I sent a copy to landlord and was told that everything is fine and thay will pay the bills.

    A few months later I received a letter from Counsil tax summons with fine and requrement to pay counsil tax for the whole year.

    Landlord tells me that they made a few payments and that they are going to write to counsil and resolve the problem.

    I called counsil and they tell to me that nothing has been paid and they haven't received any correspondense from landlord at all.

    I'm worried that I will have to pay counsil tax (quite a big amount of money).

    The problem is that my current contract doesn't state anything about counsil tax and this tax comes on my name.

    I have email correspondense where landlord write that thay are responsible for counsil tax payment. Also I have faxed letter (not original) from landlord where they state the same and recorded telephone call (just in case).

    What do I need to do in this situation?
    What problems can I have if the landlord will refuse to pay at the end of the day? The contract ends at the end of this months, we are disqussing with the landlord its extending, may be I should require some king of guarantee letter?

    Thanks,
    Zakhar.

    #2
    There are 2 issues

    1) who is responsible to pay the council tax in law?

    2) what has been agreed between you and the landlord.

    The two are totally separate.

    The answer to number 1 is almost definately you. The firs person with liability for council tax is the occupier unless the same property is shared by multiple households. So you are liable for the council tax and will need to pay it because failure to pay council tax is one of the few debts that can result in imprisonment.

    If the landlord has not stuck to his side of the contract (ie paying concil tax) then you will need to sue him for whatever you have had to pay out. If it is less than £5000 then it would be dealt with in the small claims track which is designed to be done without solicitors. There are fees - but presuming you win the landlord would be ordered to pay that in addition to the council tax.

    With regard to extending, you don't need to. The landlord can only make you move out if he obtains a court order. If you choose to stay beyond the end of your contract, the law gives you a "Statutory Periodic Tenancy".

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      #3
      Thank you fot your reply Snorkels.

      I hope that we will sort this out without going to court. I'm worried about if I have to sue the landlord, do I have enough evidence? At the end of the day my contract doesn't state anything about counsil tax.

      I have another question, what is a "Statutory Periodic Tenancy"? Does it mean that landlord can not make me move out say in case they want to raise the rent? It's not really fair I think.

      best regards,
      Zakhar

      Comment


        #4
        The county courts work on the basis of he 'balance of probabilities'. Basically, you will tell your story, the landlord will tell his, the judge will decide who he believes. If you have to go to court, you sould dress smartly, speak politely and not tell any lies. If the landlord doesn't do any of these he will be immediately at a disadvantage.

        If you are still in the property on the day after your contract ends, the law (section 5, 1988 Housing Act) gives you a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. This is exactly the same as the original contract with 2 important exeptions.

        If you want to leave, you must give a minimum of one months notice, and your last day must be the last day of a tenancy period*

        If your landlord wants you to leave, he must give a minimum of 2 months notice before he can apply to the courts for a possession order. You do not have to move out at the end of the 2 months notice, no one can legally remove you from the property exept a court bailiff with a court order.

        *If rent is paid monthly, the last day of the tenancy period will be the same day of the month as the last day of the contract. So, if your contract was from 24th January for 6 months, the Statutory periodic tenancy would commence on 24th July and each period would run from the 24th to the 23rd of the next month.

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