Council Tax liability appeal and I have no copy of the AST!

Council Tax liability appeal and I have no copy of the AST!

9:24 AM, 16th September 2016, About 5 years ago 22

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Urgent help- I am due to go to a tribunal to appeal my responsibility as owner to having to pay council tax. paperwork

Unfortunately I do not have a copy of the signed tenancy agreement as I handed it over to the tenant who urgently needed it for his benefits. We agreed he would copy and post me a copy. I only have text message exchanges where the tenant enquirers about the property, I ask about whose name the tenancy is going on and forward my bank details for housing benefits after the tenant requested them.

I also have evidence of a bailiff letter, a summons for non payment of council tax all of which are in the tenants name. I also have a copy of the email I sent to the council notifying them of the tenants.

Any advise with regards to this issue would be appreciated.

Adnan



Comments

by David Price

9:24 AM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "16/09/2016 - 14:09":

Mandy my procedure is much the same as yours although I use a different cloud provider. I look forward to the day when courts will accept scanned images rather than paper copies.

As to Council Tax I had a ten year long battle with my local authority who insisted that I was liable for the last day of the tenancy. Not too much of a problem when we had six months free but when the concession was removed I constantly received bills for circa £3 when there was no void period. Cost more to process than it was worth so I argued with my Local Authority who eventually refused to discuss the problem and would not comment on any of the case law evidence (Sidebotham v Holland 1895). Eventually they gave in, possibly having realised that they were wrong, but never did admit their error or refund overcharged landlords.

For the record I did not pay any of the 'last day' bills much to the chagrin of the council.

by Mandy Thomson

10:35 AM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "17/09/2016 - 09:24":

If you need to present evidence, such as a tenancy agreement, to the court, but you either don't have the original or you don't have any copy at all, you can do a witness statement, signed as a statement of truth, as an addendum to the claim form, clearly explaining the events that lead to the document being lost.

Whether or not this is accepted depends on the court, but it's worth a try if there's no alternative. Likewise, the original poster might consider doing a witness statement for the council.

The witness statement should be signed with: "I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true."

by

14:03 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "17/09/2016 - 09:24":

Re the Council tax the salient point is whether the tenancy ends and/or the property became unoccupied before the end of the day - if that happens then liability will usually fall on the landlord for that day as the owner (Section 2 of the LGFA 1992 - "it shall be assumed that any state of affairs subsisting at the end of the day had subsisted throughout the day.")

Craig

by

14:05 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "17/09/2016 - 10:35":

It's not a court for a council tax appeal, it's a valuation tribunal. The tribunal will accept evidence in other formats - such as witness statements etc - but they have to decide how much weight to put on to it so the more evidence the better.

Craig

by H B

16:01 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CouncilTaxGuy " at "17/09/2016 - 14:05":

When did the tenancy start and when did you protect the deposit? Is the period in dispute from the start of the tenancy?

by Colin McNulty

17:15 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Thanks very much to the anonymous contributor who posted up their correspondence with Nottingham City council.

Can I just check my understanding of the Leeds court case please?

Are we saying then that if during a periodic tenancy (after the 6 months fixed term) the tenant gives a month's notice to leave, but vacates the property early, say after 3 weeks, that the tenant is still liable to pay the council tax for the 4th week, but not beyond that?

by David Price

19:30 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CouncilTaxGuy " at "17/09/2016 - 14:03":

Sidebotham v Holland addresses this problem but just to be sure all my tenancy agreements end at midnight, irrespective of the time the tenant moves out.

by

19:36 PM, 17th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Colin McNulty" at "17/09/2016 - 17:15":

In quick terms, after the end of the fixed period* of the tenancy - you have two options :

1) It ceased and a periodic tenancy had started
The tenant is liable for the council tax only whilst resident.

2) It continued as a contractual tenancy
The tenant is liable for the council tax whilst resident AND they remain liable after they vacate up until the actual end of tenancy.

*Assuming an initial fixed period of 6 months or more.

Craig

by Colin McNulty

10:48 AM, 18th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CouncilTaxGuy " at "17/09/2016 - 19:36":

Thanks Craig. How do I tell? I just use the standard RLA tenancy:

http://rla.org.uk/landlord/documents/tenancy_agreement/doc_AST.shtml

I'm going to assume it's (2). So am I right that it's basically a repeating series of 1 month tenancies, so as per my question, they're liable up to the end of the month?

E.g. I gave a S21 notice to a tenant on 1st July and gave her 2 months to move out, which expired on 1st September. I gave her a Tenancy Surrender declaration to to sign when she left.

She did this and handed it in, along with her key, to the estate agents. When they forwarded it to me, she'd dated the surrender as 20th August.

Is she liable for CT until the 1st September?

by

14:47 PM, 18th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Colin McNulty" at "18/09/2016 - 10:48":

If it was running on as a periodic tenancy the tenant does not meet the council tax definition of 'owner' - this means they can only be liable for the council whilst the property remains their 'sole or main residence'.

In the case of above the tenant would remain liable as long as the property was their 'sole or main residence' but as soon as they vacated the property then they cases to be liable for the council tax (even though the tenancy may actually be still going).

I don't know how those T/A's are specifically worded - if they went in to a contractual tenancy then the tenant would be liable until the very end of their tenancy regardless - they'd meet the council tax definition of 'owner'.

Craig


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