Am I liable for sitting tenant’s council tax?

by Readers Question

10:27 AM, 1st December 2016
About 2 years ago

Am I liable for sitting tenant’s council tax?

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Am I liable for sitting tenant’s council tax?

I purchased a flat with a sitting tenant and the tenant never paid his council tax bills for two years. The council has failed to get a response from him. liable

Would I be liable to pay the council tax due on the account. I have purchased the flat in Feb 2016 and the tenant was renting since 2014.

Any advice would be helpful

Arup



Comments

Larry Sweeney

22:44 PM, 1st December 2016
About 2 years ago

The short answer is no, Unless it is a HMO. Liability for CT is governed by the Council tax regs 1992. The tenant or occupier is liable, but Councils generally being useless may attempt to bully a landlord in to paying if they cannot contact the tenant. Under no circumstances should be allow yourself t be intimidated by the LA. The tenant is liable end of story.

John Frith

15:48 PM, 2nd December 2016
About 2 years ago

I would add the following proviso to Larry's post: as long as it was your tenants main residence, the tenant is liable. Probably not relevant in your case, but tenants have been know to have two places on the go at the same time.

13:51 PM, 6th December 2016
About 2 years ago

The key aspect in your case would be a) that you can prove the tenant is liable (if required) and b) that they haven't vacated or have a second property elsewhere they also live in.

The majority of cases where the landlord is liable are those mentioned in the Council Tax (liability for owners) regs 1992 (as amended) - the most common being the Council Tax HMO. The other main occurrence is for a resident landlord (as per section 6 of the LGFA92)

If the tenant has the property as their 'sole or main' residence then they are liable liable for the Council Tax charge 99% of the time.

(Assuming landlord isn't resident ) If they have the tenancy of the property but their 'sole or main' residence is elsewhere then a landlord could be liable. This comes down to section 6 of the LGFA92 and depends on whether they are the 'owner' for Council Tax purposes.(it falls under the same points as Leeds City Council v Broadley).

Craig


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