9:15 AM, 16th August 2022, About 2 months ago 10
Hello everyone, We have a rented property which we have rented to the same tenant since 2003, a verbal tenancy of 6 months minimum then periodic.
The council sent us a demand in December last year for 18 years worth of council tax including uplift for an empty property, a bill of £33,000, even though they knew it was occupied and the occupant paid the council tax until he moved out in November 2021.
The tenant contacted the council rates department to explain they had made a mistake because he had paid by DD for his entire tenancy.
The Rates department cancelled his account and put the account for this property into our company’s name, and told him that he no longer had an account so they could not discuss this with him.
They have moved his payments elsewhere and created a liability for our company for these rates, the tenant has not been refunded.
On August 30th we are due to appear in the magistrates court, where no doubt they will award a liability order to the council.
The tenant has supplied a statutory declaration to the effect that he is liable and occupied the property from 2003, and as a second home from 2011, when he moved in with his girlfriend, but kept the rental going.
The council are claiming as he occupied it from 2011 as a second home he is not liable for the rates as his main home is with his girlfriend.
Surely we do not have to pay the rates on a property that was occupied by a tenant for all that time when he had paid the rates in full?
The council have told us that it is a liability issue so we need to go to the valuation tribunal, they are also refusing to give us leave to go to the valuation tribunal, claiming we haven’t engaged with them, a complete lie.
We engaged our local councillor who was horrified by this and said he would help sort it, he has since been warned to stay out of it, by his political masters.
Any advice on how to fight this would be appreciated.
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