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Islington Council has closed a loophole which had led to thousands of landlords in the borough not paying tax over the summer period.
The London borough of Islington has taken action against dishonest landlords in the area who had rented out student accommodation over the summer holidays without paying the correct level of council tax. Their refusal to disclose the type of tenant they were letting to meant that many landlords in the borough managed to evade paying the appropriate council tax. This was done by claiming that they were continuing to let to students, rather than standard tenants.
In order to protect against this, landlords will now have to supply the council with the tenancy and student occupancy details for each property they let. They will have to do this for each week of the year, including the summer months. This means that buy to let property investors will be charged council tax for every time that the flats are occupied by non student tenants.
Islington is home to over 4,000 student flats, making the measure particularly important for the council, as just a quarter of these student homes being let to normal tenants over the summer months would generate a extra total of £121,250 for the council’s funds.
Islington Council’s executive member for finance, performance and community safety, Councillor Andy Hull, commented on the changes: ‘At a time when Islington faces ongoing cuts to its budgets from central Government, it isn’t fair that landlords have effectively been getting a tax break on renting their flats out over the summer. Closing this loophole means that the correct levels of council tax are collected, which is fairer for all our residents and helps to pay for local services in Islington and London.’
It is hardly a loophole!
LL have been allegedly engaged in Council Tax fraud.
I thought that was an imprisonable offence!?
All student LL should be required to confirm the student status of any tenant for relevant council tax purposes
The so called 'loophole' is far from it - assuming that they are referring to the Class N rather than the Class M exemption then the council have had ample time over the years to try and crack down on the failure of tenants to be declared. It reads to me as well though that the council haven't been doing a lot of what they should have been doing to ensure their records are correct and they're now putting 100% of that failure on to the landlord.Ultimately though there's a myriad of different scenarios which can apply here and the council are going to have great difficulty in forcing reluctant landlords to provide details.
Specialist Council Tax advisor (A.Inst.Pa) based in Gateshead, but working nationally for landlords and council tax payers.http://www.lgfa92.co.ukPosting as @CouncilTaxGuy on TwitterWhy not look at our blog at http://www.lgfa92.co.uk/blogAny posts are my own opinion on legislation and may vary from your local authorities !