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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Council Tax liability?

    I'm looking for people's views please on this situation.

    We have a terraced property which is currently let to a mother and daughter. They are on 2 separate tenancy agreements in that each agreement stipulates which rooms their agreement relates to.

    The tenancy agreement does go on to state that the tenants are liable for council tax and that they are jointly & severally liable.

    Having read and re read the legislation many times I would like people's views on whether the landlord would be liable for the council tax in this situation please ?

    What are people's thoughts ?

    Thanks for any help on this one !

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    Nope in this case the council tax is down to the LL.

    A single AST the tenants are liable

    Suggest you change to one AST.

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    If you do a search of the PT data you should find extensive info about this situation as this is where I got the info from!

    Might be under JClarke posts as he uses some clever strategies which do involve him being liable for CT though he makes it all work.

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    Up  until May last year I would say one tenancy and yes the council collects from them.

    Separate tenancies  and they collect from me

    But then  I did a joint tenancy for two unrelated people for a 3 bed

    One on LHA who had use of 2 rooms and a working person in the 3rd bedroom

    The council still chased me. The reason is as i understand it is because like you I stipulated specific rooms

    They therefore didn't constitute a single household therefore the landlord pays  - similar to an HMO

    My AST still says the tenants must pay so they would be in breach if they didn't pay

    So the council would sue me but i would sue the tenants if they didn't pay me

    As it stands I just collect it from them each month as a top up and forward direct to the council

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    You raise some interesting points which may mean that what I am currently doing isn't quite right.

    I have a 2 bed 2 bath flat let to 2 couples

    One had the bigger bedroom with the smaller en-suite, the other couple had the smaller bedroom with a bigger family size bathroom

    Nowhere on the AST do I mention who has what rooms.

    The tenants understand that they are jointly and severally liable for everything

    I believe they have decided that one couple pays for some bills and the other couple pays the others so that it works out as roughly equal

    I deliberately did NOT designate on the AST who had what rooms because of the CT issues etc

    So that could mean the tenants invade each others spaces as I have not defined who uses what!

    The tenants seem content with this

    There are no locks possible on the bedrooms.

    I suppose I am fortunate that my tenants get on.

    But by not designating who has what on the AST I could be causing problems for myself

    Though the tenants have agreed amongst each other which rooms they were to have.

    I wonder if I should follow what you do and obtain a top up for the rent to pay the CT.

    I am a bit loath to upset what seems to be a contented tenancy, so as they all seem to get on perhaps I will leave as is.

    But your policy might be one I adopt for future sharing tenancies.

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    For Council Tax purposes a HMO is:

    Class C a dwelling which

    (a)was originally constructed or subsequently adapted for occupation by persons who do not constitute a single household;

    or

    (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

    (ii)has a licence to occupy, but is not liable (whether alone or jointly with other persons) to pay rent or a licence fee in respect of, the dwelling as a whole.

    A tenancy agreement specifying a rent only for a room would be a HMO but even a tenancy agreement which doesn't state a specific room can still be a HMO in some cases.

    Craig

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    http://www.LGFA92.co.uk council tax consultants.
    Posting as @CouncilTaxGuy on Twitter
    Why not look at our blog at http://www.lgfa92.co.uk/blog


    Any posts are my own opinion on legislation and may vary from your local authorities !

    The issue with your agreement is that only council tax legislation determines liability (based on the actual agreement and occupancy of the property) - extra terms may make a contract between you and the occupiers but they don't affect the council's determination under legislation.

    If they have an agreement to occupy a specific part of the property then it would almost certainly fall as a council tax HMO (see my earlier post).

    Craig

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    http://www.LGFA92.co.uk council tax consultants.
    Posting as @CouncilTaxGuy on Twitter
    Why not look at our blog at http://www.lgfa92.co.uk/blog


    Any posts are my own opinion on legislation and may vary from your local authorities !

    All these dynamics will be much cause for upset if and when local HMO licensing is introduced or when the new Housing Act is introduced classifying normal shared properties as HMO s requiring licensing.

    It will be the most widely flouted legislation ever.

    Be interesting to see how lenders consider shared properties based on one AST!!?

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