HMO Property – Who should pay the Council tax and fines?

by Readers Question

3 years ago

HMO Property – Who should pay the Council tax and fines?

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HMO Property – Who should pay the Council tax and fines?

I have a HMO property which is rented out with separate AST to individuals. As such the council tax is in my name and paid by me directly. Recently a tenant made me aware of a bin violation.

The local council has imposed a fine as on a further inspection the bins had not been filled correctly. They sent me a notice to the property address and not my correspondence address which they have as per my council tax records asking me to pay a £80 fine. This was reduced to £40 if paid within 10 days.

I only visited the property again yesterday which is some 20 days later than the date of the letter and they are threatening to prosecute. Can I protest with the council that they did not send me the letter to my correspondence address? They have this on record and have been sending my council tax bills and other matters to this address for year.

On another note, what would other HMO landlords do in regards to the council tax payment? I don’t see tenants sorting out payment for it between themselves so the only option is for me to continue paying them!



I think if you have the tenants all on separate tenanciescthen u pay the ctax. But if they were all on joint tenancies they pay it. The bins. Write an Appeal Notice to councilvstatibg that correspondence address is wrong, also state to them that tenants have signed tenancy that they are responsible for bins, plus issue your tenants with warning that you will charge them £ 40 admin charge each for bin violations as they are taking up your time, I dictate last week and I copied the environment health officer with the letter to show that I'm serious about my tenants recycling

Tony Atkins

3 years ago

As houseshare tenants can be utterly hopeless and behave like children about bills (and noise, and cleaning, and buying everyday supplies like toilet rolls), this long-suffering landlord administers and pays the council tax and other bills on behalf of my HMO tenants, splitting the costs evenly and invoicing them every month or so for full repayment. I even change the gas and electricity supplier from time to time to secure a better tariff. I have however put a clause in the contrast saying that I reserve the right to change the arrangement and require them to administer the bills if I request this; this helps ensure prompt payment by them as they don't want the hassle.

I have in the past also offered a tenant the option of paying me a steady fixed payment every month, in addition to their rent, if they are anxious about budgeting. We then settle up at the end of the year: she pays me extra if the bills were higher than expected, or I pay a refund. However my current batch of tenants are a relaxed and competent bunch and prefer to pay as they go.

The invoicing method of course involves more work for me, but it does provide a mechanism to add extra costs, such as this fine for incorrect filling of bins. You should most definitely not regard yourself as responsible for paying this £80 fine. I suggest you need to hold a house meeting to discuss the issue and recycling generally, to make it crystal clear that the houseshare members are responsible and arrange a method of payment, i.e you agree to pay the fine provided you are reimbursed promptly, or if they don't pay, the money will be deducted from their deposits when they leave. Ask them to sign a letter agreeing to this arrangement, to avoid future disputes.

In order to encourage a good atmosphere in the house and good landlord-tenant relations, I would only issue warning letters if you find they are evading their collective responsibilities and claiming that they individually shouldn't have to pay because someone else was responsible for the mis-filled bin. In the medium term, add a clause about responsibility for such fines in your tenancy agreement, and include information about recycling in your house information pack, if you have one.

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