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  • littlemissmoney
    • #2
    • 16th Sep 08, 9:13 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Sep 08, 9:13 PM
    I don't think Fannie should pay anything. Students don't have to pay council tax because they can't afford to! Wouldn't Mae get some form of council tax benefit if she is on the minimum wage?
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  • mummymi
    • #3
    • 16th Sep 08, 10:24 PM
    non student pays it
    • #3
    • 16th Sep 08, 10:24 PM
    i had some friends in this situation. the non- student ended up paying it all. but she is able to work full time whereas the student can only fit work in around her college course. the thing is they must know this before they move in so cant really complain
    • Miss Liquorice
    • By Miss Liquorice 17th Sep 08, 1:00 AM
    • 238 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    Miss Liquorice
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 08, 1:00 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 08, 1:00 AM
    I am in this position at the moment, as the student. Before we moved in together, this was discussed, and it was decided then that we split the council tax bill so my flatmate paid for 50%, and I paid for 25%. But this was because my flatmate was getting us free internet from his job. Our place is only a band B, so it works out about equal anyway.

    It's up to the people to negotiate between them. When considering rent, we included in the cost of bills into what we could afford. I'm fortunate to have a reasonably paid job that fits in with my uni schedule. I'd prefer to pay a bit of council tax to live with a friend than living with students I won't get along with as much, but each to their own.
  • Brittanic
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 08, 1:02 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 08, 1:02 AM
    I suspect an "in-kind" share would be my approach - like paying for another (smaller) bill...
  • Sharp_Eyes
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 08, 5:23 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 08, 5:23 AM
    I've seen ads for flatshares that say that they only want either students or professionals because of this same situation. Some say "students are welcome as long as they are willing to pay council tax". If Mae and Fanny get along as roomies, it's up to Mae to decide if it's worth the hassle and friction of a new roomie to get someone to spilt the council tax evenly. As a student Fannie wouldn't have a lot (if any!) income so Mae shouldn't expect her to contribute on a regular basis. However, if Fannie feels guilty that her best friend has to shoulder all the burden of the council tax, there's nothing stopping her from kicking in a few quid when she can! I don't think it should be a regular set payment though...
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    • Dorrie
    • By Dorrie 17th Sep 08, 6:23 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    • #7
    • 17th Sep 08, 6:23 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Sep 08, 6:23 AM
    Surely anyone with an ounce of common sense would have discussed this before moving in?
    • becky170
    • By becky170 17th Sep 08, 6:28 AM
    • 498 Posts
    • 4,255 Thanks
    • #8
    • 17th Sep 08, 6:28 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Sep 08, 6:28 AM
    They should have discussed it before they moved in. Personnally I don't think Fannie should pay as she is exempt as a student and her housemate would have know this before they moved in together. I've got student friends who live with non-students and as they really wanted to live with these people they agreed to pay their share of the council tax, but this was discussed before they signed the rental contract.
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  • Demus
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 08, 7:50 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 08, 7:50 AM
    Mae should have known what she would have to pay council tax before they signed contracts and as such, should have discussed it before signing contracts if she wanted to negotiate anything. As it stands, Mae is the one legally responsible for it and since student loans rarely even cover accommodation, Fannie is unlikely to have any money spare. Fannie should not have to pay simply due to Mae's imprudence.
  • apcorbett
    The fact that the student isn't liable for Council Tax is (IMHO) irrelevant here - The fact is that the house has two residents, the house benefits because the council allows a 25% discount. Therefore, the non-student should pay 50% and the student 25% - This is fair!
    Andy Corbett

    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 17th Sep 08, 8:23 AM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    I'll give you my answer....

    I would say that if Mae were with another worker she would pay 50% of the bill
    If Fannie was with another student she'd pay 0%

    The actual amount to pay is 75%.

    Therefore I would suggest they split the difference... Thus

    Fannie pays 12.5% of the council tax total and Mae 62.5%

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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    • Crispy Ambulance
    • By Crispy Ambulance 17th Sep 08, 8:54 AM
    • 3,769 Posts
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    Crispy Ambulance
    The fact is, the student has no liability to pay. The non-student does. However, the non-student also has access to benefits - Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Tax credits etc and if Mae is on a low enough income, she will be able to claim Council Tax Benefit to help her with the cost.
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  • CyberHelen
    The student shouldn't be made to pay!

    I was in this situation. I was a student, sharing with 3 others. I finished my course a year before them, and asked the council as soon as i qualified to send me an assessment. There was no way i was going to ask them to pay. Because had i been in the house alone, i would have had to pay the discounted rate - and it would have cost me more to have found a single room ro rent in forms of all bills - as being a student house we were only paying £200 a month rent each. To have moved out i would have had to pay at least £750 in rent on my own + all the bills not 1/4 of them + the council tax.

    It was not cost effective for me to move. Therefore i was happy to pay the council tax alone.

    Besides on their student income, they couldn't afford to eat without going into debt, so i contributed more to food and bills as well because i was earning - and it wasn't shed loads of money - because i was working for the NHS! I was on 12,000 a year, plus because of London weighting, and the then rules on student loans, i aslo had to start paying off my student loan, because the LW took me above 15,000 total, and they didn't allow for the fact that the LW was for travel and living expenses - they counted it as salary.

    I have recently also been in the opposite situation, being off sick from work, beyond my sick pay allowance and on benefits -I was officially entitled to council tax and housing benefit help because of my low income, but because my flat mate was earning, she was expected to cover this for me. It wasn't until she moved out to get married that the benefits could kick in for me to not have to pay. My flat mate could not afford to cover me, so i really had to pull my belt in and use my benefits to pay my half of the council tax and mortgage. It was a real struggle, But i had a reassessment as soon as she moved out, and it was sorted eventually.

    The government and the council expects the working person in the household to cover the non working person for most things. Luckily they did allow me full incapacity benefit, because we could prove we were sharing a house, not living together!

    It is worth noting - My counil does (and apparently most councils also do this) put aside some of the money from everyones council tax into a discretionary housing fund. To help people who are really struggling to pay their council tax. You firstly have to be eligable for CTB or HB or both, and then you have to PROVE that you have cut back in every area possible and APPLY for the fund. It is then up to the head of the fund to look at each individual case and decide if they will award you any money from it to help you out.
  • supersmith
    I would say that the student should not have to pay the council tax. The student loan is low enough as it is, without these additional costs. The working person can apply for some council tax benefit to help with the bill, if she is on a low income. The student cannot apply for benefits so cannot do this.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 17th Sep 08, 9:12 AM
    • 529 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    Well first I would be surprised if this hadn't been sorted before they moved in.
    Second, if Mae is on minimum wage, she would get help with her council tax and would get other benefits too.
    And lastly, they are not a 'couple' a such, so there should be no sense of obligation to pool all monies and then equally share all bills.
    Each has their own separate income and each is responsible for their own personal expenses - they should then share joint expenses in accordance with their original agreement.
    The council tax that Mae is having to pay is not a joint expense.
    • stu369
    • By stu369 17th Sep 08, 9:44 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    It's a shame so many people are replying that they can't believe this wasn't sorted before they moved in! Surely the question is equally valid as how to agree the Council Tax before you take on a property?
    If Fannie accepts that she is enjoying a benefit of sharing with her best friend and not other students, and Mae accepts that she is enjoying a benefit of sharing with her best friend and not other workers, then Martin's suggestion is obviously the best. That both pay 12.5% more than the (Fannie 0%, Mae 50%) that they would otherwise pay.
  • ceridwen
    I dont think it should be assumed that those on NMW get help with Council Tax anyways - I dont know the exact figures - but I think it could maybe vary from Council to Council anyway.

    That is a "red herring" in my book anyway.

    My first reaction was that they both pay what they are respectively due to - ie 75% for the wage-earner and nothing for the student. I would take that attitude myself - but I am a home-owner and the student would be my lodger.

    Having realised that its rented accommodation - well thats a different ballgame. As the wage-earner - I would have regretfully decided that I had to share the flat with another wage-earner and thought wistfully how I would have very much preferred to share the flat with my best friend instead. The reason for this is that I could not afford to pay extra for my home because I was sharing it with a student, rather than another worker.

    I would have told my student best friend that that, regretfully, would have to be the position and how much I regretted not being able to share the flat with them - and that I understood their position (ie that they were entitled not to pay any Council Tax) - but I needed to safeguard my position. If, however, they were willing to pay half of that 75% Council Tax bill - then the position would change and we would be able to share a flat together after all. I would leave the decision up to them then as to whether they went and flatshared with other students - or paid that bit of Council Tax and came and shared my rented flat with me. (I would be aware in the course of this that they would be able to earn better money than me personally and have a better job than I could eventually - and I think it would be possible for them to leave the country rather than repay the Student Loan in order to cancel out that drain on their finances that my generation didnt have.)

    It does all depend on peoples individual circumstances. Its very much the same argument as came up when MSE Martin did the "should we subsidise families" poll recently - and those WITH families often voted for their own "vested interest". I would like to think that I would be strictly fair - I voted against subsidising families there. I would like to think I would be fairminded enough to still vote the same way even if I personally had a family.

    Most people vote for their own "vested interests" and disregard fairness in any context.

    In this context I think I would be being fair to not expect any help from my friend if it was my own home (which I own) - but renting is a different kettle of fish. I was going to say that if I had a good income myself then I would exempt my student friend from paying any Council Tax - as a bit of a form of redistribution of income - but then I realised that if I had a good income I wouldnt be renting in the first place anyway (as I would be buying a place).
    • pezza88
    • By pezza88 17th Sep 08, 10:25 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    I'm sure that I read that both are liable equally - it is the house that is charged, not the individuals. Students should therefore be careful about living with non-students and always work this out from the start.
    As a student, I would say that splitting 50/25 seems the fairest although 62.5/12.5 is a valid compromise. 75/0 is unreasonable, and 37.5/37.5 seems a bit harsh in my opinion.
    • robpw2
    • By robpw2 17th Sep 08, 10:29 AM
    • 12,647 Posts
    • 26,389 Thanks
    whilst the stufent has no liability they still use the services of the council
    i think single person discount should be 50 % but as it not
    surely they should just come to an agreemnet between the two of them

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  • Cazzdevil
    If the non-student lived alone then she'd have to pay for 100% of the council tax so sharing with a student is already saving her money hence I personally don't think the student should be expected to stump up anything towards it unless it was agreed before hand.
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