Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lee
    Real Life MMD: Should I split the repayment?
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 11, 12:21 PM
    Real Life MMD: Should I split the repayment? 6th Jul 11 at 12:21 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I split the repayment?

    Last year another student and I moved in with a non-student. As students, we were exempt from council tax and the employed girl got a 25% single person discount. I reluctantly agreed to split the bill three ways, although I couldn't afford it. When I finished my course, we lost my student discount and I was unemployed so instead I claimed council tax benefit. It finally arrived just as I started a full-time job. My employed housemate now thinks I should share the benefit with the student as her costs went up, but I regard the cash as mine.

    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs: View All


    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 12-07-2011 at 6:59 PM.
Page 1
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    • 4,730 Posts
    • 47,739 Thanks
    rose28454
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    How did the student's share of the Council Tax go up if she was not due to pay any? Confused. My son had a similar situation when he lived with 5 medical students in a flat in London. He was the only person working so paid the council tax with the 25% Single Tax taken off. After 2 years another working person moved in and they then aid it between them.
    The students should not have been expected to pay any of the council tax as they were exempt and therefore the Council Tax Benefit should not be shared with them.
    • _nate
    • By _nate 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    _nate
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:58 PM
    You've been kindly subsiding the council tax of your employed friend for a while. It is a bit rich for them to now suggest that you should split the benefit you received from the government because of your circumstances. Perhaps they would consider giving the student a better deal themselves if they are so keen for you to do this all of a sudden.
  • bogwart
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 11, 12:37 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 11, 12:37 AM
    Heads they win, tails you lose. Some people seem to want it every which way. She needs to learn how the world works, and that not everything is about her. In other words, put your foot down and say NO! You've already been more generous than you need to have been so she should consider this a cheap lesson in economics.
  • DurhamGrad
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 11, 3:46 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 11, 3:46 AM
    Your employed housemate has far too many opinions. There was no reason for you to subsidise her council tax payments when you were exempt, and now you're being expected to pay someone else's share out of money that you were legally entitled to?! Be firm and say NO! And in future, keep details re your finances to yourself if possible. She wouldn't have known about this late council tax benefit if you hadn't talked about it...
  • bennett2kuk
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:47 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:47 AM
    For starters I wouldn't have let anybody know anything I was doing money-wise. Then they wouldn't feel entitled to any money you may earn or in your case scrounge from the government.
    Regardless you didn't have to pay for the council tax so you shouldn't have paid it, as such any benefit you claim on your own is your own. I would work out how much extra you paid as a result of paying for their council tax and demand this back.
    If they're causing so much trouble as appears to be the case I would suggest moving out.
    • lowlitmemory
    • By lowlitmemory 13th Jul 11, 9:26 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    lowlitmemory
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 11, 9:26 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 11, 9:26 AM
    Easiest MMD we've had for a while!

    You don't owe anybody any money, and furthermore, you should never have paid any council tax whilst you were a student. Your name should not even have appeared on the bills. If your mate insists that you now give her some of your benefits, then as someone said above, present her with a bill for HER council tax which YOU have been paying!
  • drewboy
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 11, 9:32 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 11, 9:32 AM
    Students are just as liable to a council tax bill as anyone else, its just that if the house is solely used by students there is nothing to pay.

    If there is a bill because of someone in employment living there, then technically the students are liable to their share - and can be held liable if there is non payment.

    The council tax benefit is given to cover council tax, and should be used for that purpose.
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    • 4,730 Posts
    • 47,739 Thanks
    rose28454
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    Students are just as liable to a council tax bill as anyone else, its just that if the house is solely used by students there is nothing to pay.

    If there is a bill because of someone in employment living there, then technically the students are liable to their share - and can be held liable if there is non payment.

    The council tax benefit is given to cover council tax, and should be used for that purpose.
    Originally posted by drewboy
    If there is a flat with 3 tenants and 2 are students then the bill is in the name of the person employed and the students are exempt. When my son paid in his flat is fellow housemates produced a letter from their universities to give to the council to get exemption. So technically the students are not liable as long as they produce a letter from Uni. I did a lot of research for my son when he lived there. Although it was Westminster City Council and they messed up the bills every year. In the end he had to go to their offices and seek out his councillor in order to sort it out
    • jon214
    • By jon214 13th Jul 11, 10:20 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    jon214
    If there is a flat with 3 tenants and 2 are students then the bill is in the name of the person employed and the students are exempt. When my son paid in his flat is fellow housemates produced a letter from their universities to give to the council to get exemption. So technically the students are not liable as long as they produce a letter from Uni. I did a lot of research for my son when he lived there. Although it was Westminster City Council and they messed up the bills every year. In the end he had to go to their offices and seek out his councillor in order to sort it out
    Originally posted by rose28454


    Maybe the situation should also be considered from the point of view of the employed person:

    If there are 3 tenants and all are employed then each pays 1 third of the bill, for example if council tax bill is 1000 - each pays 333.

    However if 2 of the 3 tenants are students the bill will be reduced by 25% (as if there was only one tenant) this leaves the employed person paying 75% of the original bill, for example if the bill is 1000 the employed person would pay 750.

    Surely it is unfair to expect the employed tenant to pay such a higher amount just because the other tennants are students.

    Student exemption should only apply where all tennants are students.
    • joannedavidson80
    • By joannedavidson80 13th Jul 11, 10:24 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    joannedavidson80
    I think your non-student flatmate is taking you and your other flatmate for a ride- as already stated she got a 25% discount as she was the only person liable to pay- her choice to live with students if she hadn't wanted to pay the 75% council tax for your flat she shouldn't have moved in with students.
    On your current situation the backdated council tax was paid to you for council tax you've already paid and so you should keep it, but really you and your non-student flatmate should be splitting the council tax from now on and your student flatmate shouldn't be contributing as she isn't liable.

    @bennett2kuk what land do you live in most students i know don't walk into employment immediately on graduation- if you read the dilemma carefully you would see she is now working full time and paying taxes- repaying any benefits she received for the short time she was unemployed- thats what we pay taxes for so that there's money there when we need it!
    • pjcox2005
    • By pjcox2005 13th Jul 11, 11:29 AM
    • 578 Posts
    • 622 Thanks
    pjcox2005
    I'm surprised it's such a one sided response.

    If you were splitting bills, including council tax, before equally, then presumably that situation should continue now that you are paying council tax as well.

    As such, any rebate from the council tax bill should be split amongst you all.



    What's the difference between say the council tax being split, and the electricity, should the person in full time employment get discounted electricity as they won't be in during the day?
  • drewboy
    If there is a flat with 3 tenants and 2 are students then the bill is in the name of the person employed and the students are exempt. When my son paid in his flat is fellow housemates produced a letter from their universities to give to the council to get exemption. So technically the students are not liable as long as they produce a letter from Uni. I did a lot of research for my son when he lived there. Although it was Westminster City Council and they messed up the bills every year. In the end he had to go to their offices and seek out his councillor in order to sort it out
    Originally posted by rose28454
    Fraid not. It should be in the name of people who are living there - regardless of their student status. I agree in practise that this doesn't always happen correctly, but that doesn't make it wrong.

    And they ARE liable if they live there. If the bill isnt paid, and the council cant trace the employed person, they will go after the student regardless of a letter from uni. Trust me on this, I have had it happen to me.

    It is a common misconception that students are fully exempt. And I only say this through experience of being liable as a student (legally liable) as well as my mum working in a council tax department.

    In anycase, as someone else says. The employed person is sharing the bills and the students being in more will increase the electric - why should they then pay a their full share? Only fair way is to add all the bills together and split them equally.

    Or go live with just students. This would solve the whole problem.
  • drewboy
    Oh - and the benefit part is clear cut to me. It is for council tax, and should be used for council tax. Is fraud in my opinion if not used for that purpose.
    • Sharon87
    • By Sharon87 13th Jul 11, 12:19 PM
    • 3,554 Posts
    • 3,036 Thanks
    Sharon87
    I'm surprised it's such a one sided response.

    If you were splitting bills, including council tax, before equally, then presumably that situation should continue now that you are paying council tax as well.

    As such, any rebate from the council tax bill should be split amongst you all.



    What's the difference between say the council tax being split, and the electricity, should the person in full time employment get discounted electricity as they won't be in during the day?
    Originally posted by pjcox2005
    The council tax benefit is the person's portion of the bill. The government give that person the money to pay their council tax. So the person is paying their share of the council tax, it's just from benefits.

    As for paying council tax as a student, I get where the non student housemate's coming from, but they chose to live with students. When I've advertised for new housemates I have always said no students, unless you're willing to pay your portion of the council tax. That's because we don't want our payments to increase. If they weren't willing to pay the council tax (about 25 a month each) then we wouldn't live with them!
    • bunberry
    • By bunberry 13th Jul 11, 12:23 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,013 Thanks
    bunberry
    I don't understand why the bill was split in the first place. If 2 students lived in a house and are exempt from council tax, why should they pay extra if a third council tax paying tenant moved in. The 3rd tenant would effectively be receiving a double discount (in this case) by splitting the bill with the students.

    As for sharing the benefits, it's not even a question because only one tenant is eligible for benefits. Pretty clear cut imo.
  • spankygoodtime
    In the first house I shared as a student the countil tax was loaded on to the rent by the landlady who lived there. There were several lodgers, both students and working people. I said that I didn't have to pay because I was studying and was asked why working residents should have to pay more because of this - and was told to look elsewhere for an all student house if I didn't like it.

    I quickly came to agree that this was fair, and as I liked living there paid up.
  • Cerisa
    "Student exemption should only apply where all tennants are students."

    I think people forget how poor students are.
    1600 overdraft
    100 Christmas Fund
  • shoesandsocks
    I am a working person and have lived with a full-time student for 3 years. It was made clear before this person moved in that this was a working household and not a student house and therefore if she moved in she would need to agree to pay an equal share of the council tax.

    The student was, and still is, happy with this as she wanted to live in a nicer quality house rather than student style accommodation.

    Recently, we had another student move into our house. Again, we made it clear that council tax would be split equally, regardless of student status. This person agreed at the time, but 6 months later, when she was moving out, she turned on us and said she shouldn't have to pay council tax and that she was only doing so to 'be polite'.

    I think, if you move in with non-students, into a non-student house, you have to accept an equal share of all bills. (and this should be made clear to the student moving in before they agree to moving in).

    Since the last girl - who, as well as council tax, also didn't want to pay her gas share of the gas & electricity as she believed she didn't use as much as the other two of us - I have written up a small 'household bills' contract for housemates to sign, stating that they are happy to accept equal responsibility for all bills.

    This way, if anyone tries to avoid paying their fair share of bills again, at least I have written evidence for a small claims court )

    Sorry, not sure if that all really helps with the original question but I thought I would share anyway!
  • shoesandsocks
    I think people forget how poor students are.
    Originally posted by Cerisa
    We all have our own money and commitments to deal with. 'Poorness' is relative...a student may not have much money but they are likely to not have as many financial commitments and ties...

    If a student doesn't have the money to pay council tax then I agree with what someone else said above - move into a household with other students!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,151Posts Today

7,568Users online

Martin's Twitter