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  • FIRST POST
    • skyfarmer
    • By skyfarmer 5th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 2Thanks
    skyfarmer
    Council tax..new banding 7 years!!
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    Council tax..new banding 7 years!! 5th Feb 18 at 5:40 PM
    Have been renting a ground floor flat/cottage on a farm for past 7 years. Landlady (now decd and farm in hands of trustees)
    My agreement with LL was council tax was included in rent,just pay for electricity.
    Long story short council started sniffing round when farm was put on the market..it has become apparent there was no planning or change of use for my cottage (it was used as a holiday let)
    2 weeks ago they sent out someone from the valuation office to band my place,and have placed it in band A.
    On Friday I recieved 7 council tax demands for the previous 7 years..totalling around 7 thousand pounds!
    Now it seems to me my dearly departed LL was "at it",and failed to notify council of full time tenants. Obviously tenant is resp. for debt despite the fact to me I have already paid in my rent.
    This place has never been banded until now,I have no worries about paying CT from date of banding but can they really charge me for 7 years??
    I thought the clock would start from banding date...
    Any help please??
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 5th Feb 18, 5:45 PM
    • 16,832 Posts
    • 17,838 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:45 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:45 PM
    Yes. I believe 10 years is the maximum. Or perhaps the norm...
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 5th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • 9,037 Posts
    • 5,387 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    Do you have a hard copy of the original agreement stating that CT was included?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Feb 18, 5:50 PM
    • 17,385 Posts
    • 15,735 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:50 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:50 PM
    If you were renting the entire property, you were always legally liable for the CT, not your landlord - whatever they said to you.

    If they'd told you they'd cover your income tax for you as well, would you believe them?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • 10,667 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    Effective date of CT band is the date a dwelling came into being (or 1 Apr 1993 Eng/Scot, 1 Apr 2005 Wales if in existence prior to these dates). So if the effective date is 7 years ago, then they can bill you back to that date.

    As the physical occupier you are liable for CT. If you believe an element for CT was included in your rent then you have to claim it back from the estate of your landlady
    • CIS
    • By CIS 5th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    • 10,493 Posts
    • 6,058 Thanks
    CIS
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    There is no limit on backdating in England and Wales. The council can, and will, go back as far as is required.

    Any personal agreement with a landlord cannot override the statutory decision of who is liable for the council tax charge - if you were paying the landlord under an agreement then you would have to pursue them for monies, via the estate if possible.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 5th Feb 18, 6:09 PM
    • 1,482 Posts
    • 63,469 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 18, 6:09 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 18, 6:09 PM
    In the council's eyes the occupier is responsible for the council tax.

    However, if your rental agreement states that the rent includes council tax, could you not pay it then claim it back as a creditor against the deceased's estate?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 5th Feb 18, 6:44 PM
    • 10,667 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 18, 6:44 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 18, 6:44 PM
    In the council's eyes the occupier is responsible for the council tax.
    Originally posted by D_M_E
    It is not just "in the council's eyes", the hierarchy of CT responsibility is enshrined in legislation
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 5th Feb 18, 7:08 PM
    • 1,228 Posts
    • 853 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 18, 7:08 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 18, 7:08 PM
    Have been renting a ground floor flat/cottage on a farm for past 7 years. Landlady (now decd and farm in hands of trustees) - so where I say LL below, you instead claim from the LL's estate.
    My agreement with LL was council tax was included in rent,just pay for electricity.- as occupier, you are still liable for any outstanding CT to the council. However under your bilateral contract with the LL, you can recover this from the LL.
    Long story short council started sniffing round when farm was put on the market..it has become apparent there was no planning or change of use for my cottage (it was used as a holiday let)
    2 weeks ago they sent out someone from the valuation office to band my place,and have placed it in band A.
    On Friday I recieved 7 council tax demands for the previous 7 years..totalling around 7 thousand pounds!
    Now it seems to me my dearly departed LL was "at it",and failed to notify council of full time tenants. - Why didn't YOU notify the council since as tenant you're responsible for CT? Obviously tenant is resp. for debt despite the fact to me I have already paid in my rent. If you had notified earlier, you would have received bills and could have ensured the LL paid, or paid yourself and eventually deducted from the rent if the LL refused, over the 7 years.
    This place has never been banded until now,I have no worries about paying CT from date of banding but can they really charge me for 7 years??
    I thought the clock would start from banding date...- no, that would reward failing to notify the council of change of use. You are liable to the council for CT for the full period you have lived there.
    Any help please??
    Originally posted by skyfarmer
    You lived there for 7 years => you owe CT for 7 years
    You can claim this back from LL's estate under your bilateral agreement with the LL to include it in rent, but this doesn't affect the council.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 5th Feb 18, 8:00 PM
    • 37,227 Posts
    • 156,855 Thanks
    silvercar
    Op would have no way of knowing whether his landlady paid the council tax on his behalf or not. Given that the council never chased him, it would be reasonable to assume that the landlady had always paid it.
    • skyfarmer
    • By skyfarmer 5th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    skyfarmer
    Allow me to clarify,cottage prior to myself moving in was listed as holiday let..therefore subject to business rates as opposed to council tax..business rates are somewhat less than council tax.
    LL failed to notify planning dept of change of use..more than likely so she would get away with paying the lower "business rates" and having cottage rent coming in 52 weeks of the year.
    I have been kept in the dark and all this has come to light since the death.
    Council were never going to send me a bill to pay as up until the past month they believed this to be a holiday let and therefore it was not banded. Hope this helps a little.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 5th Feb 18, 8:27 PM
    • 703 Posts
    • 1,077 Thanks
    Slithery
    That doesn't change the outcome.

    You need to pay the outstanding tax and then claim it back from the LL's estate.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 5th Feb 18, 8:34 PM
    • 6,382 Posts
    • 5,892 Thanks
    00ec25
    Allow me to clarify,cottage prior to myself moving in was listed as holiday let..therefore subject to business rates as opposed to council tax..business rates are somewhat less than council tax.
    LL failed to notify planning dept of change of use..more than likely so she would get away with paying the lower "business rates" and having cottage rent coming in 52 weeks of the year.
    I have been kept in the dark and all this has come to light since the death.
    Council were never going to send me a bill to pay as up until the past month they believed this to be a holiday let and therefore it was not banded. Hope this helps a little.
    Originally posted by skyfarmer
    does not alter the position

    under statutory legislation:
    1. the occupant is liable for CT as they rank ahead of the owner/LL under the hierarchy of liability - no matter what arrangement you had with your LL

    2. based on 1 the council can demand you pay CT even if your LL had paid it in full anyway as your LL is not legally liable for it. In fact had your LL paid it the council would now have to refund all monies paid by the LL back to the LL and the council would then be legally required to bill you instead. (CIS is ex council tax and has done that in his real life on occasion)

    3. the rebanding has been done by the VOA in accordance with legislation requiring then to go back to the dates as set out by Lincroft (Lincroft being retired VOA who has done that in real life)

    under contract law
    4. your contractual agreement between yourself and your LL regarding "inclusivity" of CT will only be resolved by you suing the estate and letting a court decide if the contract stands. Naturally that depends on a) what written evidence you can produce, b) does the estate have any money left from which to pay you if you win and c) how much are you willing to spend on legal fees to find out?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 5th Feb 18, 8:52 PM
    • 10,493 Posts
    • 6,058 Thanks
    CIS
    The only real get out clause I can see if is you could demonstrate that you didn't rent the whole property and/or it was adapted/created for multiple occupancy - in those cases the landlord would be liable by law however nothing I can see would suggest that was the case.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Nicki71
    • By Nicki71 5th Feb 18, 8:52 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nicki71
    Do two things the first would be to claim against your landlords estate although the council will get involved in this the other is to appeal to the valuation office it is up to the council to bill you in a reasonable time scale
    • skyfarmer
    • By skyfarmer 5th Feb 18, 9:10 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    skyfarmer
    I do have a meeting with the trustees in the morning..since death of LL I have been paying my rent to them.
    What I am cross about is the fact that LL should never have allowed me to live here on a permanant basis..she was in breach of the legislation surrounding the occupancy of holiday homes. That was why I had never seen a council tax bill for this property (still claiming business rates)
    There are more complexities here which I wont go into,but whole farm was run as a B&B up until LL death. I would imagine (and not good to assume anything here) that LL would have paid CT for her own farmhouse and flats/cottages such as mine were listed as B&B rooms..again more complex as my place is an extension of original farmhouse and cowshed.
    Arghhh!
    • CIS
    • By CIS 5th Feb 18, 9:39 PM
    • 10,493 Posts
    • 6,058 Thanks
    CIS
    I do have a meeting with the trustees in the morning..since death of LL I have been paying my rent to them.
    What I am cross about is the fact that LL should never have allowed me to live here on a permanant basis..she was in breach of the legislation surrounding the occupancy of holiday homes. That was why I had never seen a council tax bill for this property (still claiming business rates)
    There are more complexities here which I wont go into,but whole farm was run as a B&B up until LL death. I would imagine (and not good to assume anything here) that LL would have paid CT for her own farmhouse and flats/cottages such as mine were listed as B&B rooms..again more complex as my place is an extension of original farmhouse and cowshed.
    Arghhh!
    Originally posted by skyfarmer
    Any part being used as a permanent residence should have been charged council tax from the point where the change occurred - whether there was a planning permission etc needed (or granted) makes no difference, it's the use of the property that is relevant so the valuation office should have been advised so that the appropriate change could be applied.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • skyfarmer
    • By skyfarmer 5th Feb 18, 9:50 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    skyfarmer
    Sure I agree with you,LL should have advised them,its not the sort of thing I would have questioned at the time of moving in.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 5th Feb 18, 9:56 PM
    • 10,493 Posts
    • 6,058 Thanks
    CIS
    Technically there was no requirement to advise anyone regarding council tax - legislation never included a clause to force declaration of properties for council tax purposes (for some unknown reason).
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Hoogle
    • By Hoogle 5th Feb 18, 10:55 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    Hoogle
    You could write to the council stating it you had no intention of defrauding them with your agreement stating council tax was included in rent. ALso notify them when you registered on the electoral roll and state that if you were intentionally not paying council tax then you would not have registered on the electoral roll. If you are not on the electoral roll or registered your address with any local council services then it may look a bit suspicious
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