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COUNCIL TAX FOR A RENTED ROOM IN AN HMO (House in Multiple Occupation)

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My daughter rents a room with en suite in shared accommodation.  There are 4 other tenants.  She shares the living room, kitchen and main bathroom with the other tenants.  Each tenant has their own tenancy agreement.  The house has an HMO licence.  She has recently received a council tax bill addressed to her room stating that she owes council tax of £1,200 as her room has been assessed as Band A as it is classed as a self-contained property.  Is this correct?  How can it be classed as self-contained if she shares all the other rooms except her bedroom?  Also, if she does have to pay this council tax, will she be entitled to single person discount?  Thank you in advance.
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  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,773 Forumite
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    edited 4 September 2022 at 3:15PM
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    If a room in a HMO has some adaptation towards making it self contained, e.g. a shower room, then it can have its own CT band. So it looks like your daughter's room has been correctly separately assessed. If she is the sole occupier of the room then she would be entitled to SPD 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understand-how-council-tax-bands-are-assessed

    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    edited 4 September 2022 at 3:46PM
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    What does her TA say about payment of C. Tax? 
    To be assessed as self contained, doesn't the dwelling need to have some provision for food preparation as well, such as a kichenette (sink, microwave etc)?

    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,773 Forumite
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    macman said:
    What does her TA say about payment of C. Tax? 
    To be assessed as self contained, doesn't the dwelling need to have some provision for food preparation as well, such as a kichenette (sink, microwave etc)?

    When I was in the VOA, that was the criteria we used for annexes, but in the intervening 16 years, the rules appear to be less stringent. Certainly for rooms in an HMO, there only needs to be some adaptation either a kitchenette or a shower room according to the government website I quoted in a previous post. Apparently there does not need to be both.


    CT hierarchy of liability overrides any tenancy agreement terms and conditions.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, in the link provided above by lincroft1710 is a paragraph which states -

    "Separately let rooms in an HMO may have been structurally and/or physically adapted, for example, so that they have their own kitchenette or separate shower/bath and WC. They will be given their own band even though may share some facilities. In making a decision, the VOA will look at all the facts, including whether the property has been structurally altered".

    So it seems that your daughter is liable for CT but would also be eligible for the single person's discount. However, if she isn't happy with the council's decision, she can always ask them to investigate and/or advise. The VOA should actually visit the property to ascertain the correct CT bandings.

    As we know from posts on this very site, councils do not always get things right when it comes to council tax bandings and/or charges.

    I'd definitely query this with the council. It can't hurt and could even help. If the money is due then the council will also be able to help with some payment arrangements - after the single person's discount has been deducted.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    macman said:
    What does her TA say about payment of C. Tax? 
    To be assessed as self contained, doesn't the dwelling need to have some provision for food preparation as well, such as a kichenette (sink, microwave etc)?

    When I was in the VOA, that was the criteria we used for annexes, but in the intervening 16 years, the rules appear to be less stringent. Certainly for rooms in an HMO, there only needs to be some adaptation either a kitchenette or a shower room according to the government website I quoted in a previous post. Apparently there does not need to be both.


    CT hierarchy of liability overrides any tenancy agreement terms and conditions.
    I understand that, but it would be interesting to know if the LL let the room on the basis that CT was included or excluded? This change didn't come out of nowhere and there must have been an inspection, which the LL would be aware of?
    If the LL let it as a room in an HMO then the rent must have included an allowance for CT, and the tenant is entitled to request a reduction in rent if this is no longer the case.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,773 Forumite
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    MalMonroe said

    However, if she isn't happy with the council's decision, she can always ask them to investigate and/or advise. The VOA should actually visit the property to ascertain the correct CT bandings.

    As we know from posts on this very site, councils do not always get things right when it comes to council tax bandings and/or charges.

    I'd definitely query this with the council. It can't hurt and could even help. If the money is due then the council will also be able to help with some payment arrangements - after the single person's discount has been deducted.
    If your daughter believes her room should not be banded then it is the VOA she should contact, not the council. There is little point in the VOA inspecting as the room is only in Band A and your daughter acknowledges there is an en suite. It may well have been inspected prior to her occupation.


    She should contact the council to obtain the SPD and it will be obvious from the bill if the council are using the correct start date for her and charging the (pre SPD) amount. Clearly if the council are using a date prior to either your daughter's actual occupation or tenancy commencement (whichever is the earlier) then she should tell them.   
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • JulieDH
    JulieDH Posts: 16 Forumite
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    My daughter has just looked at her tenancy agreement and said there is no mention of council tax in her tenancy agreement.  She has lived there since August 2021 but never been asked to pay council tax until this invoice arrived which covers the period 23rd January 2022 to March 2023.
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,773 Forumite
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    JulieDH said:
    My daughter has just looked at her tenancy agreement and said there is no mention of council tax in her tenancy agreement.  She has lived there since August 2021 but never been asked to pay council tax until this invoice arrived which covers the period 23rd January 2022 to March 2023.
    This would indicate that the effective date of the CT band as 23 January 2022
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,182 Forumite
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    Check here to see if it is a recent banding

  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2022 at 7:50PM
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    Are the other rooms also en-suite? Have the other tenants also been billed?
    She needs to speak to the LL to establish what his understanding of the position is, as he must have been paying the CT up to 1/22.
    Perhaps there was a refurb and the en-suites were added sometime before that date?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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