Council tax on inherited property

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
5 replies 2.7K views
Willow2019Willow2019 Forumite
2 Posts
My mum passed without a will, my sister and i inherited her home that is completely paid for. I want to sell the house but my sister is living in it and wants to buy me out, this will never happen as she cannot for the life of her pay any bills. She agreed to pay the bills as she is living in it and i am paying the home insurance. Now she is saying i have to pay half of the council tax- is she correct? I have my own home to run and have a very tight budget, i live in America, my property tax/council tax is almost £4k a year and my mortgage is a whole other story,


  • Tom99Tom99 Forumite
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    Is she the only adult living in the property? If so she will be entitled to a 25% discount on the Council Tax bill.
    Council Tax is payable by the occupiers of a property not the owners so your sister is the one liable for paying all of the Council Tax.
    Are you going to continue to let her live in the property rent free? Did your sister live in the property before your mother died?
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.2K Posts
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    As long as she is resident in the property as her 'sole or main residence' then she will be the person the council will chase for payment.

    If she was to no longer be resident, and the property was entirely unoccupied, you'd be jointly liable for any council tax as the owner.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • Yes, she’s the only adult- i will let her know about the 25% discount, thank you!
    I don’t feel comfortable charging rent, but being told i have to pay half the bills for a house i don’t want is rubbing me the wrong way.
    She stayed at my mother’s off & on- she could never stay put in 1 place more than a few years so she was back & forth. She is in a lot of debt so my mother didn’t want her there so she let my sister’s post be delivered to the house. She’s been on the council list for a while but nothing’s good enough for her. She’s a nightmare!
  • edited 14 October 2019 at 3:25PM
    phillwphillw Forumite
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    edited 14 October 2019 at 3:25PM
    Willow2019 wrote: »
    Now she is saying i have to pay half of the council tax- is she correct?

    Legally no. If you had both decided to keep the property empty as a second home then it might be reasonable to split it.

    If she lives anywhere on her own then as the head of the house she is liable for it all, even if someone then moved in with her then it's up to her to negotiate how much they should pay to her (you lose the 25% discount and the council can pursue people through the courts if someone is claiming single person discount when there are more than one person eligible for council tax).
  • Ratkin007Ratkin007 Forumite
    69 Posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Your sister's lucky you're paying insurance. Whilst she is living there she should be paying all bills and rent to you for your half. However, I understand your reluctance to charge and doubt you would get it, but you may need to spell it out to her. If she wants to buy you out, give her a deadline. You also mentioned she is on a Council waiting list, hope she realises that as a home owner she no longer qualifies.
    I know someone who inherited property with Brother. Brother lives in the house, doesn't pay rent but when work is needed expects his non-resident brother to contribute. I'm guessing your sister will be the same at the first sign of trouble.
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