Council Tax for Students at end of course?

Please help Oh Hive Mind
My daughter finished her degree course and moved home on 1st May 2020. Her course officially ended on 15th May and she and her housemates have not resided in their privately rented student house since then. 
They had their last council tax bill in March 2020 which stated that they were exempt from council tax from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. 
Now a letter has arrived from the Council telling them they were not exempt from 15th May to 1st September, and owe £500 in council tax?! 
From reading up on the Chichester Council website, it states that students at Chi Uni do not have to prove to the council the dates for their course, as this is provided direct from the University. 
So why did the Council send the girls a letter in March telling them they would be exempt until March 2021, when they already had the dates for that year's course and would have been aware that the dates end in May 2020? 
Anyone else had similar experience? 
:A Debt Free Wannabee :A

Comments

  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260
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    alxx_b said:
    Please help Oh Hive Mind
    My daughter finished her degree course and moved home on 1st May 2020. Her course officially ended on 15th May and she and her housemates have not resided in their privately rented student house since then. 
    They had their last council tax bill in March 2020 which stated that they were exempt from council tax from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. 
    Now a letter has arrived from the Council telling them they were not exempt from 15th May to 1st September, and owe £500 in council tax?! 
    From reading up on the Chichester Council website, it states that students at Chi Uni do not have to prove to the council the dates for their course, as this is provided direct from the University. 
    So why did the Council send the girls a letter in March telling them they would be exempt until March 2021, when they already had the dates for that year's course and would have been aware that the dates end in May 2020? 
    Anyone else had similar experience? 
    It's the way that councils should be doing it based on the relevant legislation. They have to work on the basis that the situation will apply for the entire year - hence the showing of the exemption etc for the year. Once it gets to the time for any change of circumstances the council will then revise the demand notice on this basis - i.e. the cessation of the student exemption for the rest of the year. They now need to contact the council and confirm the date of vacation for the account to be corrected.
    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.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,760
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    When did they surrender their tenancy?
    If they were still officially tenants but chose to move out, then the council may still consider them liable for council tax. This would be from the end of their final term to the end of the tenancy.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
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