Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I was ‘threatened’ some time ago with my HMO tenants being liable for council tax – or rather their rooms are – this has now come to pass and I’ve been sent council tax demands in my name for all rooms.
I’ve been back to the department and they will now issue them in my tenants’ names. I’ve argued the toss on this, but an interesting point is that the valuation department does not recognise ‘HMO’ and anywhere that someone can live is a dwelling and every dwelling is liable for council tax – so be warned other HMO owners or convertors, you could be captured under this daft decision if your house cannot be used as a family home ‘with no changes’ when the sharers move out.
Anyway my issue now is that the tenant’s contracts have ‘council tax included’ in their contracts – are the council now voiding my contract, how do I now get the tenants to pay if their contract says it is included?
This has come to pass by the way because someone has claimed housing benefit and an inspection was done (unknown to me but it is down on the record that I denied access which is an absolute lie, my first knowledge of this was an email from the council department) and accessed the property without my permission. Interestingly the Valuation Department do not have right of access without my permission and they were surprised that the council gained access without.
Bottom line really is how do I now get out of the clause of inclusive council tax, I’ve written to my tenants informing them that this is about to happen and again that it is now happening and obviously I will return to them the portion of council tax that I pay and have offered to help as much as I can by making a reduction in rent. I’m waiting for their responses and if someone brings up the contract issue. I’m a bit loath to pay all (around £10,000) a year as there is going to be one (at least) who is not paying council tax and dropped the whole house in it in the first place.
I am guessing that I need to give them all notice and reissue new contracts to those who stay.
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