Agency threatening friend over council tax

Hi guys,

Already made a post here but my friend has come to me with a similar problem, through the same agency.

Her landlord has paid council tax on the property, now the agents are demanding £600 for council tax.

She lives in a house with 3 other people, they each have individual contracts which based on what I've learned her means the landlord is liable for council tax.

Okay the issue we're having is her contract has a section removed that relates to the tenants paying the landlord if he has to pay any council tax, I have the same contract with them but ours has that paragraph in.

There's nothing in her contract which states she will reimburse the landlord if he pays any council tax (which he has).

The agency said in an email to my friend:
clear intention from you that you were to be a student

And due to this, her tenancy agreement is incorrect and should contain the missing paragraph which states she should pay the council tax if the landlord has done so.

She never declared any intention to be a student, she graduated last year and is currently working.

Am I right in thinking they have absolutely no leg to stand on her? Trying to claim her tenancy agreement is rubbish in order to get money off her.

I'm going in there tomorrow with her to tell them where to stick it, should I have any problems?

Cheers for the help (again!)

Replies

  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm going in there tomorrow with her to tell them where to stick it, should I have any problems?

    Ask them for proof of the 'clear intention'.

    If there's no agreement then they cannot force her to pay short of taking a small claims case (which I can't see how it would be successful).
    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.
  • KashinodaKashinoda Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Haha thanks again mate, you've been a star :)
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
    14.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Kashinoda wrote: »
    Hi guys,


    I'm going in there tomorrow with her to tell them where to stick it, should I have any problems?

    Cheers for the help (again!)

    Rather than wasting your time and energy (and stress levels) going to see them, a well-worded letter would do the trick. She has fulfilled her side of the contract and neither the agency nor the landlord has any kind of case. End of story.
  • edited 29 July 2014 at 4:39PM
    KashinodaKashinoda Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 29 July 2014 at 4:39PM
    Rather than wasting your time and energy (and stress levels) going to see them, a well-worded letter would do the trick. She has fulfilled her side of the contract and neither the agency nor the landlord has any kind of case. End of story.

    My friend wrote a very well worded email to them last week after going through her contract several times to make sure she knew where she stood.

    Their response was
    I have been reading the below and would like your comments before I start formal action.

    followed by
    You duly filled out a student application form which was quite a clear intention from you that you were to be a student. However, your intentions were not honourable. Your council tax is therefore due and owing of £538.56.

    My doesn't remember signing such a form (she also made it clear to them she wasn't to be a student) and they haven't provided any form to us after several emails back and forth.

    She's slightly worried she might have forgotten filling the form in, however this was in August, prior to her graduation in September.
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    My doesn't remember signing such a form (she also made it clear to them she wasn't to be a student) and they haven't provided any form to us after several emails back and forth.

    Was she a student when the tenancy started or when the original tenancy was agreed ?

    Even if she was, there was no provision in the contract to change the terms if and when she ceased being a student.
    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.
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    She lives in a house with 3 other people, they each have individual contracts which based on what I've learned her means the landlord is liable for council tax.

    Where the other occupiers students ?
    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.
  • edited 29 July 2014 at 5:39PM
    KashinodaKashinoda Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 29 July 2014 at 5:39PM
    CIS wrote: »
    Where the other occupiers students ?

    1 of them remained a student, 1 dropped out, and the third one wasn't.

    CIS wrote: »
    Was she a student when the tenancy started or when the original tenancy was agreed ?

    Even if she was, there was no provision in the contract to change the terms if and when she ceased being a student.

    I'm not sure it's entirely clear if she was a student or not, she had finished her exams and received results. But graduation was officially in September, where she received her Diploma stating the date she finished her degree with July 31st.
  • edited 30 July 2014 at 12:44PM
    KashinodaKashinoda Forumite
    97 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 30 July 2014 at 12:44PM
    Okay so here's the crack.

    We requested evidence that she said she was a student and they've emailed back this 'student application form' which she did indeed fill out (sigh!).

    The form asks for her course, tutor and university which has all been filled out. However she also indicated that she was a part time student, if this is the case then surely she would not be council tax exempt, and as such they should have given her the correct contract to reflect this?

    The only reason for her receiving a tenancy agreement which doesn't contain clauses to pay the landlords council tax would be if she was a full time student. So what point would the agency be trying to make here?

    Hope that's clear, she's in a bit of a mess at the moment and kicking herself. Knowing the agency like I do, she was more than likely told to fill it in and not worry about council tax, despite not being a student.
  • CISCIS Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    However she also indicated that she was a part time student, if this is the case then surely she would not be council tax exempt,

    If she's told then she was part-time and they issued the tenancy then I would tell them to go and swing
    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.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides