Student and non-student in same property conundrum?

Student and non-student in same property conundrum?

9:19 AM, 1st July 2024, About 3 weeks ago 12

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Hi, probably an apt question at this time of the year. Student tenancy agreements can run until late June, July, August or even September.

Students become liable for council tax from the day after they formally stop being a student. This could be when their course officially ends, some as early as mid May, or the day after they abandon it or get dismissed from their studies.

Some local authorities require ALL the students in the HMO to be registered students, not some students are and some are not, for the property to be Council Tax exempt.

ie If a non-student moves into the HMO or an existing student abandons their course, a liability is created. In this case, the responsibility to pay the council tax falls on the tenant(s) rather than the landlord BUT if you have a professional tenant in an HMO, it is generally the landlord’s responsibility to pay the council tax for the building.

However, if a non-student in the property is working are they a professional tenant? Is the landlord liable for the property’s council tax liability?

Is the property no longer a student HMO and ALL students or the landlord liable for the property’s council tax liability?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

Judith


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Lawrie Madden

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12:21 PM, 1st July 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Just to add another layer to this
I have a student who finishes in June but is going on to take a Masters degree in September so will have to pay council tax for July and August and part of September when the course starts and then will be exempt
Who sorts this out the landlord or the tenant ?

Yvonne Francis

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12:33 PM, 1st July 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I thought if you let a HMO as separate rooms with separate leases the landlord was responsible for Council Tax, and this did not depend on whether or not they were students or professionals. However students usually let on a Jointly and Severally liable lease, and have to prove they are full time students to be exempt from Council Tax. If only one fails to become a full time student then Council Tax is levied. The group is responsible for the tax, not the Landlord. That is simply so because of the one lease for the whole house. 

Once when I had students graduating well before the end of the tenancy, Council Tax was levied for the period they were no longer students. They asked for my advice and I told them to go on arguing. Eventually the Council backed down. I have never to my knowledge have my tenants been billed like that again even when they have graduated well before the end of the tenancy. I have rented to students for well over forty years. 

Yvonne Francis

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12:42 PM, 1st July 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Lawrie Madden at 01/07/2024 - 12:21
In answer to your question: if this student you have is part of a group under a Jointly and Severally liable lease then they are liable. If however you have let to her on a single lease then you are liable. One needs more info to give a proper answer to this?

Judith Wordsworth

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13:13 PM, 1st July 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 01/07/2024 - 12:42
I don't let to students but posed the question for many of those that do as the Local Authority, where my daughter was a student who was let a bedroom as an AST with a licence to the communal arears, stated that the house house (10 bedrooms) had to be occupied by students and should one of them not be then the property was 100% liable for Council Tax.

In her 2nd year there one room was let to a professional - why anyone would want to live with a load of students is beyond my comprehension mind you lol, and the letting agency had no idea re the liability for council tax. I don't think they ever told the council that they had let to a professional as the house had been solely let to students for many many years.

DPT

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10:25 AM, 2nd July 2024, About 3 weeks ago

If the tenants are on individual agreements then you would have to increase the rent by the full council tax for any that cease to be students during their tenancy. You may need a contract clause to this effect if its during the fixed term.

DAMIEN RAFFERTY

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10:32 AM, 6th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

All part of the Fun of being a student HMO Landlord.
We always have our tenants on a Joint and Several tenancy.
Students don't pay council tax however if 1 students drops out of their course and starts work or claims benefits then a Council Tax liability becomes due.
If you only have one person in the property NOT a student then they get the 75% rate of CT

Alison Clark

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12:51 PM, 6th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 01/07/2024 - 13:13
Hi Judith. My sons landlord has agreed he and 2 friends can extend their fixed term 4 bed house (4th student is leaving for a placement year) until they all graduate May/June 2025. This was great news for the boys, as they could stay put.

The LL has also agreed to £20pp per month on top of the rent for all utilities/broadband.(which is cheaper than a university third provider.)

The LL is advertising the 4th room. We are hoping this will be another student, but could well be as your post mentions ‘a professional?’

The boys have not signed their new AST as yet (starts 9/8/24) I’m wondering whether to ask the LL to had a clause re the Council Tax just in case and what to include?

Landlord seems a really nice guy and we have already been in touch regarding the new arrangements.

Thank you

Alison

DPT

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14:38 PM, 7th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

As above, the landlord is always liable for the Council Tax in an HMO with individual tenancy agreements, but the tenants are liable in an HMO let jointly for at least a 6 month term. However, full time students are exempt, so in a student HMO, if one ceases to be a student, or a non-student is one of the group, the full council tax burden would fall to that individual.

DAMIEN RAFFERTY

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15:35 PM, 7th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Alison Clark at 06/07/2024 - 12:51
£20 per tenant per month for Utility bills is amazing 👏
The subject of Council Tax and students is becoming more difficult for a student Landlord. Our local council tax office send out demands every April to existing student tenants who are moving out at the end of June.
They want a copy of the AST and proof of Student exemption !
However the local colleges and Universities only provide a list in September when courses start

Lawrie Madden

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15:41 PM, 7th July 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by DAMIEN RAFFERTY at 07/07/2024 - 15:35
The difficulty is that the local council work on the tax year from April to March while universities work on an academic year from September/October hence local council send out council tax letters in multiple duplicates during the year with constant reminders knowing that student landlords cannot answer them
Which is wasteful

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