Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
I am having a little dispute with my local council where my properties are rented out. For many years I have dealt predominantly with the lower end of the market. Due to a recent clerical error I forgot to notify the council when a tenant moved from one of my properties to another. For reasons too complicated to expand upon things changed for him pretty swiftly and he was soon behind with his rent. After a couple of months he had done a runner. Within a week I had re-let the property.
When I informed the council of the new tenant they promptly billed me for the period (I shall call him) ‘Dean’ was in residence.
I have replied to the council stating that the hierarchy to tax as laid down in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 clearly state’s that ‘Dean’ is liable before I become liable.
They have replied that I had a legal duty to inform them of the occupant and they are not prepared to issue a council tax demand to an address where a person no longer resides. They have asked for a forwarding address or place of work from me. Aside from the fact that if I had either of these I would be chasing him for the rent surely there is a Data Protection issue here?
Anyway, my main question is does anyone know what act sets out my ‘legal liability’ to inform the council of occupants of my property. Also has anyone experienced any similar arguments from their council?
Please don’t lecture me about credit referencing tenants, guarantors, next of kin, not taking DSS etc. etc. this is the business model I work with and I accept the odd non payer will do a runner once in a while.
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