Help! – My Letting Agent didn’t tell the Council I was renting to students

by Readers Question

16:15 PM, 16th May 2013
About 5 years ago

Help! – My Letting Agent didn’t tell the Council I was renting to students

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Help! – My Letting Agent didn’t tell the Council I was renting to students
Help! - My Letting Agent didn't tell the Council I was renting to studentsMy house is rented to students and is managed by a letting agent.

Now as we know, students are generally excepted from Council Tax. However, neither my tenants nor my managing agents appear to have informed the council.

I have now received a summons.

Please let me know what I should do in this situation.

Thanks in advance

Sulman Joziee



Comments

19:11 PM, 16th May 2013
About 5 years ago

Email the council give them the details along with the tenancy agreement all sorted

Freda Blogs

8:23 AM, 17th May 2013
About 5 years ago

1. Get onto the council ASAP to stop/ suspend further action (and costs) accruing

2. Provide the council with the tenancy start/end dates, all tenants' names and the educational establishment they are attending. If it is local the Council should have a student list tht they can check and verify the individuals, but if required you may need to provide proof that the tenants are truly students.

Michael Holmes

19:12 PM, 17th May 2013
About 5 years ago

When you have sorted out the Council, you might like to consider sacking your letting agent, they should have dealt with this, unless of course you had not informed them of the status of your tenants.

Mark Crampton Smith

9:28 AM, 18th May 2013
About 5 years ago

Have a look at the tenancy agreement......... there should be a clause to ensure any mail addressed to the landlord is forwarded to the agent or to yourself. By virtue of the summons previous mail must have been sent to the property, and if the tenants have failed to pass it on, you may reasonably expect them to pay the uplifted costs. you must also check with the council; there may be a liability for the void period between tenancies which you should settle immediately. If the tenants have failed to forward mail you may reasonably be able to propose the charges as a deduction from the deposit.

Mary Latham

10:12 AM, 18th May 2013
About 5 years ago

In some areas the Local authority ask for Council Tax Exemption Certificates. Students can download these from the University Site. Ask your students to do this and to scan copies to you over the weekend so that you can provide them on Monday if they are required. Not all universities share their student lists with the local authority in my area only one does. You should send them to the LA with the AST
This is a very useful document and should always be taken from students by landlords/Agents because it shows the faculty, start and end dates of the course and proves that they are in fact students.
I once caught a group of overseas students who had signed for a year but the course was only 9 month long. Some students fail their exams and leave university they often claim benefits and stay on in the property this can cause Council Tax problems. You will know everything if you take the CTE.

Some local authorities are now charging for the summer holiday period because students are not in full time education at that time where others exempt them for the whole year - if they are all on one AST and there is a charge it will be their responsibility, if there are separate ASTs it is the landlords responsibility. These are the rules used by Council tax to identify an HMO - they do not use the Housing Act 2004 definition

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Yvette Newbury

14:39 PM, 18th May 2013
About 5 years ago

Even with an agency in place I would write to the utilities and council tax myself every time, to ensure they received it. Even the best agency is only as good as the person sitting at the desk that day dealing with your rental agreement and you can be unlucky and get a person who leaves a few days later. The errors they have made on your property are unlikely to be picked up and it will be weeks or months later until you find that out, as in this case, by a summons. You need to do it yourself to be certain as it will be YOU, not the agency, who will be fined for any mistakes.

Winsome P

23:11 PM, 19th May 2013
About 5 years ago

I have a clause that they are responsible for informing the council and normally I add a blank standard letter to the right council department so that at the beginning the group leader can just send off the letter with their names at the start of the term.

I did have a girl who married her childhood sweetheart changed her name and had the council after me for that. Then there was the one that changed sex legally and officially during the tenancy - so how many boys and girls are in the house . . . . Colin. . or was that . . . . oh the fun and games of being a student landlord!

chris howells

22:07 PM, 21st May 2013
About 5 years ago

this has happened to me a few times even though the agents informed the council and so did I. One tenant left council couldnt find him on the list so issued me with a summons . Another left Uni and was working .It happens even when you give them all the info.aLL part of the joys of being a landlord


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