10:40 AM, 29th June 2015, About 8 years ago 8
I have one tenant who has been with me for years and his flat-mates move in and out usually staying for about a year or so, as with most young professionals. Do I really have to put them both on a joint tenancy agreement to avoid this luxury two bedroomed flat becoming a “house in multiple occupancy”?
In Housing Law it has to be three people, but in Council Tax Law (whatever that is) it only need to be two. Recently, the Council got onto the fact that they were not on a joint tenancy agreement and asked me to pay the Council tax as it was an HMO, even though they were up to date. They were going to get a refund. I would be told how much I owed, (presumably the same as the refund) – they would pay me, as per tenancy agreement stating that they were responsible for CT and I would repay the Council. As my one tenant said – don’t they have anything better to do?
We simply changed their tenancy agreement to a joint tenancy agreement – but we still have to transfer this money around for the month that they were on separate agreements (as it happened someone sensible in the office just transferred it directly to the new account – hooray!).
I asked for NLA advice and was told that it was illegal for two people to have a tenancy agreement for one flat, which also came as a bit of a shock, as I have inadvertently been breaking the law for years.
Separate agreements are the easiest to manage for me, but somehow lead to problems with CT, separate television licences, Utility bills and can presumably lead to separate rooms being assessed for Council tax. I got out of larger places to avoid all this nonsense to no avail.
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