Council tax liability?

Council tax liability?

10:19 AM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago 39

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Hello, My tenant had a two years AST but she left after 18 months. The council made her liable for council tax and she appealed. I was not involved in the tribunal hearing.

She won the appeal saying the landlord agreed to end the tenancy, which I did not. The council then put the council tax liability onto me.

The council agrees that they have no evidence that the property was tenanted or re-occupied. They have refused my appeal and told me that I can appeal direct to the tribunal against their earlier decision.

The local authority has refused to release the full evidence my tenant provided to the appeal’s panel due to data protection.

Also, the local authority tells me that the tribunal has stopped the LA from providing me with all the evidence.

As I was not involved in the earlier tribunal hearing to verify her false evidence, I feel it’s up to the billing authority to appeal the decision.

The Amended Council tax reg. 2013 says: “Where a tenant fails to give correct notice, the tenant continues to be liable until the property is re-let or the landlord accepts a surrender.”

Advice please!

Ravinder

 



Comments

eagle view

11:53 AM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Hello Ravinder,

Ist worthy fighting 2 months of council tax payment. If you get your property back, you have the opportunity to increase the rent and move on..

Peter Fredericks

11:57 AM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Please clarify the exact source of the 2013 regulation you are quoting. By the way do not trust these Council jobsworths as far as could throw them!

Luke P

11:59 AM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Just present the tenancy agreement. She had security of tenure. Also ask for the evidence she was ‘released’.

Judith Wordsworth

12:16 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

1. Did she ask you / notify you that she wanted to end the tenancy early?
2. If not when did you find out she had left?
3. How did you get the keys back?
4. Did you give her a Deed of Surrender?
5.What date did you notify the Council she had left?
6. What date did you put the utilities back into your name/ or that of a new tenant?
7. Do a Data Rights Access request with your name re Local Authority then everything - letter/email/file note/evidence/judgment will be sent to you and you can then see, and dispute if necessary, the evidence she presented.

DSR

12:35 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 06/01/2023 - 11:59
to follow on...If the council have no evidence to show it was tenanted then how did they send her the bill in the first place?

Send them a copy of the TA immediately.

If they cannot/will not show you evidence that you apparently agreed to a surrender, then the tenant remains liable to the end of the contracted period.

Freda Blogs

12:40 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

In addition to some of the suggestions made by other posters above, in your shoes, I would:

a) Contact the Tribunal - generally speaking they they do not act unilaterally and should not proceed to judgment without obtaining both sides of a case;

b) Try and speak to the Head of the Council Tax or Finance Department at the Council. I had an issue a few months ago where I was writing to a Council to get them to remedy their factual and calculation errors, but they did not reply and instead my 'case' for alleged non payment was listed for a court hearing and I would be liable for the Council's costs. That one conversation with someone who had responsibility (and a brain), immediately and completely resolved my issue and the Court Summons was withdrawn. Too often lower echelons in an organisation are merely 'processors' who either cannot or will not exercise any judgment. Worryingly, they may also have targets/ business benchmarks on eg the amounts of 'arrears' collected so may be incentivised to operate inappropriately;

c) Ensure you have a good audit trail of correspondence to refer to if the need arises.

Good luck.

eagle view

13:38 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Landlords need to see the human side of the tenant, and they should accept when the tenant asks to leave the property a few months before the lease ends. Tenant circumstances can change due to job loss, work relocation, family bereavement, or any other personal reason. If the tenant left property in good condition then give them good smile and move on

Luke P

13:54 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by eagle view at 06/01/2023 - 13:38
Oh really?!

A contract is a contract! And you don’t think at Every. Possible. Opportunity. To use technicalities a tenant doesn’t?

This is a concern with the tenant and Council tax, so nothing really to do with the LL.

The OP didn’t prevent the tenant from leaving…but you can’t just shirk contractual responsibilities!

Try getting out of your mobile phone deal because you’ve had a change of heart…

And who’s to say the tenant had ä circumstances change and not just a *desire* to switch property?

Housing would get A LOT more expensive if your rules washed. Rent controls you say? Great…LLs have just mass-exited the industry. Good luck with it all…

eagle view

14:15 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 06/01/2023 - 13:54
Hello Luke,

How much you think landlord should spend chasing x tenant for few months of council tax payment. The landlord could pay the council tax using the deposit or deduct it as a property expense. We all know that it will cost more to chase the tenant or evict a poor tenant. Rent and legal fees recovered from poor tenants are almost zero.

David

14:28 PM, 6th January 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Ravinder, you need to answer Judith's questions above. If you said or did anything that the tenant could use to construe that you accepted her surrender of the tenancy, then you become liable for the CT. Otherwise its her.

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