Liverpool wants landlords to pay Council Tax for student tenants!

Liverpool wants landlords to pay Council Tax for student tenants!

14:30 PM, 22nd September 2016, About 5 years ago 22

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Readers of This forum will be aware of the efforts of both myself and Property 118 to expose the shortcomings of various Local authorities, and how Landlords are affected as a result of the actions of tax payer funded public servants.council tax

The latest revenue raising scheme floated by Liverpool is astounding. The council want Landlords to pay Council tax on behalf of students. In the Liverpool Echo Councillor Nick Small is quoted as saying “Landlords renting to students dodge both Council tax and Business rates. Firstly landlords are not dodging any tax. The legislation grants students exemption. Furthermore Landlords do not pay council tax on behalf of other tenants. Secondly residential properties are banded under CT legislation and not Business rates.

A student union has immediately condemned this folly, as they clearly can see the “wood from the trees” and are aware that Students will be hammered with rising rents. When will the onslaught on the PRS end.

To those landlords who think that by being nice to the Local authority ,saying “yes sir” thank you for the landlord licence and the council is fantastic doing such a great job culling rogue landlords, I say wake up.
When any Local authority lies to introduce a scheme to fleece taxpayers, then ploughs on removing even the one month CT exemption for empty properties and now wants to impose the Council tax on landlords ,that Authority has lost all credibility.

The scheme would require major changes in Primary legislation and a redrafting on CT regs 1992.
Will residential properties be banded under Business rates legislation ?. If that is to be the case then Commercial tenancies would be exempt from their other scam ,ie the Selective Licence nonsense.

Without a doubt Students will face higher rents , unless the council wish to cap rents. This is an idea favoured by Corbyn and Co. What the Socialists cannot grasp however is that Price controls in any sector always lead to shortages. Look at Venezuela. Here in the UK, Before the market was deregulated by Mrs Thatcher, and I am not getting in to politics, simply stating the facts, there were shortages. In Sweden where rents controls are in force, There is little mobility as accommodation is scarce. Where does this constant interfering with the market stop.

It is incumbent upon every landlord now to hold their Local authority to account.

As I have previously made clear here, we cannot nor should we break the law. Landlords register your Liverpool properties especially those who have not done so yet, But Stop at that Point. Let us ensure that Liverpool redraft the entire scheme to ensure full compliance with the law.

Should this authority proceed to attempt to extort Council tax from Landlords, Perhaps we should join with our tenants and go on “council tax strike”. I will happily expand on this point at a later date.

In the meantime , I believe every landlord should now explain in detail the Regulations pertaining to Council tax and In particular the consequences for tenants of not paying council tax. Allow me to summarise.

1/ A liability order is not a CCJ, and does not affect credit scores.
2/An enforcement agent (Previously bailiff) cannot force entry and most goods are in fact exempt.
3/ A charging order cannot be used against a tenant.
4/ The threshold for Bankruptcy is now £5000 so a tenant owing £4000 cannot be made bankrupt.
5/ An attachment of benefits only applies to those actually on benefits.
6/ The Council could apply for an attachment of earnings, but if a tenant were to find himself self employed , this remedy would not apply.
7/ Lastly there have been a few examples of Councils applying to the court to imprison non payers for 90 days.

This is not common because of the Political ramifications, and for this to happen one would firstly have to be arrested by the enforcement agent and transported to court. The magistrates must then allow the defaulter the opportunity to make a payment taking in to account his statement of means. In summary few will ever be committed. It is our duty to make our tenants aware of the legislation as good landlords.

It is then the tenants choice having been made aware of the possible sanctions, if he or she decides that Council tax is excellent value for money. Unfortunately I believe many tenants may conclude that the Local authority and their demand, no longer are such a high priority. As responsible landlords, it is our duty to give tenants as much information about their Council as possible.

Bin collection dates, EPC Information, Emergency contact numbers and the dire consequences of failing to pay Council tax.

Let us show that these unwarranted attacks on the PRS, may start becoming very expensive.



14:37 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

I can't comment on the selective licencing issues (it does seem to be a recurring theme though) but in respect of the council tax they have no powers to alter anything - they can express their opinion but as yet exemptions and liability are not a delegated power (I'd expect it will however change in the future).
I don't personally have any problems with local authorities lobbying for change as the financial pressure's biting but they need to remember that the final call isn't currently for them to make.

Enforcement Agents are working with one hand tied behing their back now- either legislation should allow full enforcement or not at all. It helps no-one if the system is half-arsed. In my opinion they'd have been better off looking at other aspects before they changed the bailiffs to enforcement agents. The enforcement agents are certainly less efficient in collecting than bailiffs were.

I no longer work with a local authority as I left and went self-employed and work the other side of the line now. The last few years in my area hasn't seen a huge incease in liability orders but that was more down to other things that the local authority did to mitigate debt (including a judiious use of write offs - many inappropriate as far as I'm concerned).



14:48 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nick Faulkner" at "23/09/2016 - 14:34":

Certainly a lot of properties are HMO's - some areas obviously more so than others. (They need to harmonise council tax HMOs and licenced HMO's - but that's another story). I can't see how they can't see that rents will rise, like any other business the operating costs have to be passed on. It's more likely those at the top just don't care.

Landlords are an easy target to re-coup the money that is deficient through cuts elsewhere - the government aren't taking steps to prevent local authorities looking that way for finance. The rental market may well be on borrowed time before they start getting hit even harder.


by Jay James

15:55 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CouncilTaxGuy " at "23/09/2016 - 10:59":

What does each exemption K,N,M relate to?


15:59 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay James" at "23/09/2016 - 15:55":

In quick terms

K = a property left unocupied by someone who has gone off to study full time
M = halls of residence
N = property occupied by full time student


by Jay James

16:06 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CouncilTaxGuy " at "23/09/2016 - 15:59":

Thanks. I just managed to look them up.
I agree with students being charged for services they use.
However, had these exemptions not existed when I was a student, I would have been unable to continue as a student owing to paying for servcies on my home as well as on term time accommodation.

I have long been of the opinion that local tax should be abolished as councils are already so dependent on Government for much of their income. We may as well drop the pretence of local tax autonomy.

by Jay James

16:14 PM, 23rd September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jay James" at "23/09/2016 - 16:06":

(Paying for services used rather than a local tax would have been affordable for me as a student.)

by Rob Crawford

20:37 PM, 24th September 2016, About 5 years ago

I don't see why students should be exempt council tax. Otherwise it's the local residence who will have to foot the bill. In a community with a high percentage of students how can this be fair on the rate paying residents? However, executing this via the landlord is wrong. Why doesn't the Local Authority charge the universities/colleges a circa £100 for each tenant residing within the LA's area? This would ensure a more accurate means of collecting the money and as they are the main benefactor of students it seems a much fairer approach!


20:43 PM, 24th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "24/09/2016 - 20:37":

I agree Rob - that's why I think there should be a payment (like my earlier post re the MOD) to help towards the services. Universities charge enough money on the tuition fees.

The local authority I worked for had 2 Unis in the city and 2 more within travelling distance + several colleges that hosted degree coursers. Students were probably the most time consuming cases overall when processing council tax (in monetary terms - they tied up two staff most of the year) in addition to every other service that was provided.


by Gromit

21:11 PM, 24th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Students for the most part adults (i.e. over 18) and do not have any income. OK they can borrow money on preferential terms but how is that so different fron someone who is unemployed or on benefits who get CT relief?

by Michael Barnes

12:40 PM, 25th September 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Larry Sweeney" at "22/09/2016 - 19:06":

I don't understand why you want to encourage tenants not to pay Council Tax.

If fewer people pay CT, then one of two situations must arise:
1. services provided by the council will be reduced (eg libraries), or
2. Those that do pay council tax will have to pay more.

I'm guessing that most landlords are not in a position to benefit from the position you describe if they do not pay, so would themselves suffer.

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