Real life MMD: Is the council tax bill mine?

edited 26 May 2010 at 10:25AM in Money Saving Polls
109 replies 16.9K views
Former_MSE_PenelopeFormer_MSE_Penelope Former MSE
536 Posts
edited 26 May 2010 at 10:25AM in Money Saving Polls
This is a real life MMD so please bear in mind the MoneySaver in question will read your responses:
Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...
Is the council tax bill mine?

I moved in with my two brothers after my marriage split. I receive benefits and don't have to pay council tax, but my brothers are employed full-time so do pay. They argue I should cover a third of the bill - cash I would struggle to find. If I lived alone, there'd be no council tax, and I do all the housework so do contribute.

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  • Ask the council to make the three of your joint and severally liable from the date you moved in. At the same time, apply for council tax benefit for your 1/3 of the bill. Problem solved.
  • my view is no, do not pay, they are not paying anymore than before you moved in. I wonder if you are claiming housing benefit, not sure of the rules or if it is different if you live with Familiy, or tax implications for the brothers but this is one area to look at and would address any extra costs since you moved in, which I would expect to be small really.

    Check with the Benefits Agency regards housing benefit and then if able, make a claim, also explain the amount of housework you do. I am sure they would come round.
    A bargin is only a bargin if you would pay full price for it.
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Your brothers have helped you out by taking you in, you should pay your share.

    You say if you lived on your own you wouldn't pay council tax, therefore you are lucky because you have a choice. Stay with brothers and pay your share or go and live on your own and pay none....your choice.
  • If u only moved in with one brother then his Council Tax would have increased from 75% of the full amount to 100% but as u have moved in with two brothers there is no additionall cost to them as they are already paying the full 100%.
    I live with my brother and he has let me move in without any charge, whilst I find a job. His interests are in my well-being, not my already threadbare wallet.
  • mamazaacmamazaac Forumite
    646 Posts
    Agree to pay your share, but on condition they agree to pay you a fair hourly rate for the housework you are doing.
  • svmitchesvmitche Forumite
    592 Posts
    I would explain the struggle to find an even third, but say what you could pay (a token amount) taking into account the housework that you do.

    It might then not seem to them as though you are 'not paying your way' as you have offered what you can afford, while you are getting some credit for the housework that you do.
    I'm so sexy it's a wonder my underpants don't explode.
  • gailygaily Forumite
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    I would expect to pay a 1/3 of the biills for the running of the house. Yes, the brothers are getting a better council tax rate by having you live there, but you are benefitting from a larger house than you would have had on your own or a council dump - or possibly, no house at all.

    If you are not working, then you will be at home more than your brothers (even if actively seeking jobs) and could negotiate to offset some of the bills by doing domestic stuff around the house (cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing etc) - it ain't pretty, but someone has to do it, and then you could feel partially employed. Job title - Cinderella!

    Also, if you're at home through the day, you might have the TV on, and use the phone or internet to try to gain work - should you then pay more to your brothers for the use of these services?

    Your brothers are being good enough to let you live with them. They have set the terms, and whilst you may feel aggrieved, they could have taken on a lodger in employment and charged a far higher rate to them.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are:smileyhea
  • droniddronid Forumite
    592 Posts
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    To be fair this is one of the situations which I ended up in. The situation for people working and not working (and students) is not very fair. The legal side is that you're not obliged to pay for council tax as you receive benefits which under normal circumstances would mean 100% discount. If there were only two of you in the house then you'd get a 25% discount - which doesn't seem that fair, 3 people and no discount at all. As it stands you shouldn't have to pay it but there's nothing preventing your brother's demanding it.

    As others have said, maybe arrange to offset the tax with domestic chores.

    Are you getting housing benefit for your proportion of the rent on the house? If you are then you are paying your way to an extent and hopefully your brothers are not viewing the situation as a finacial transaction with no support.

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

    I moved to Liverpool for a better life.
    And goodness, it's turned out to be better and busier!
  • edited 26 May 2010 at 9:21AM
    KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    edited 26 May 2010 at 9:21AM
    Ask them to look into the going rate for a cleaner. They will soon see that having you clear up after them and do all other housework is much cheaper than paying someone else to do it and having you pay the 1/3 Council Tax instead.

    Perhaps you could offer a token payment towards the other bills that you would have to pay and do use: electric, gas etc.
  • KxMx wrote: »
    Ask them to look into the going rate for a cleaner. They will soon see that having you clear up after them and do all other housework is much cheaper than paying someone else to do it and having you pay the 1/3 Council Tax instead.

    Perhaps you could offer a token payment towards the other bills that you would have to pay and do use: electric, gas etc.

    Not cheaper than having the bills split between three. Get real. He's not paying anything else so he should pay. Simples.
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