Sold property but still being chased for council tax!

by Readers Question

2 months ago

Sold property but still being chased for council tax!

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Sold property but still being chased for council tax!

Early in 2016 I obtained probate for a deceased relatives property and sold it at auction, but have just received two council tax bills for it. On checking the Land Registry entry I see that my deceased relative is still shown as the owner!

I know that the buyer failed to complete on the due date and had to be served a notice so this looks like more of the same as I understand it is the buyers responsibility to update the Land Registry.

Resisting the temptation to sell the property twice I need to sort out the council tax liability. As far as I know the property was empty while the new owner refurbed it and then a tenant moved in. In the hierarchy of council tax liability this appears to mean that I would be the liable as the Land Registry certified owner during the void period.

Obviously I have explained the situation to a (rather disinterested) council employee and have also asked the solicitor who acted for me to contact the council.

Is there anything else I can and should do?

Edward

Comments

Neil Patterson

2 months ago

Hi Edward,

It is very common for title deeds to not have the new owner changed at land registry for months especially with remortgaging solicitors working for banks.

It should be very easy for your solicitor to provide proof of completion date and then your council tax liability ceases.

Larry Sweeney

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 09/02/2018 - 16:08
Hi Edward,
Firstly I assume the CT bill is in your relatives name. Since probate is complete and the property sold, the Council can whistle. You have no liability and a LO should not be obtained in your name as executor. There is a hierarchy pf Liability as per the 1992 CT regs and since you are neither an owner or occupier you have no Liability

Tim Rogers

2 months ago

Councils are seeking money from every place possible. The cleanest route is to supply documentation of the sale and it's date.

However, document every person and time you deal with the council and back any phone call with a registered, ( not recorded), letter. Do NOT trust them to keep accurate or correct records.

cs

2 months ago

Unpaid CTax can be claimed from the estate without a liability order where there is a charge outstanding (as per Reg58 of the council tax (administration and enforcement) regs 1992) however if the estate was settled and you began the owner of the property then it would be in your name.

It's very common to see properties not being changed over for council tax purposes on sale - the council won't know it's been changed if they've not been told by one of the parties involved (unless they go out of their way to check the land registry, the council don't get land registry notifications automatically) and the council will proceed with what information they have unless they know otherwise. Now you've told them then they should be able to check and resolve the issue relatively easily.

A very quick check I used to use when I worked for a local authority was to check Zoopla or similar - obviously it doesn't give a purchasers name but it confirms quickly that a property was sold, in most cases, and then further investigations can be made from then onwards to try and correct the errors.


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