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  • FIRST POST
    • Puzzled pickle
    • By Puzzled pickle 10th Feb 18, 12:10 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Puzzled pickle
    Council tax ,conned and confused !
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:10 PM
    Council tax ,conned and confused ! 10th Feb 18 at 12:10 PM
    Hello hope someone can assist/advise on what is a very confusing situation.
    We entered into a rental agreement nearly 7 years ago.,which states council tax is included in our rent,CAB have confirmed that our tenancy is AST.-no problem so far .Last August it came to light through a neighbour dispute than escalated physically between our landlord and a neighbour( we were not party at all in the dispute) that the property is in fact a holiday let with no planning permission for residential use..This is where things get even more complex.
    The council in Nov 2017 sent us over 6 years worth of council tax demands and we have been battling ever since to get things sorted.Turns out the landlord has been paying business rates to the council which is obviously a lot less than council tax in this case and because he does not have planning permission to let the property as per our agreement.
    The council have "de-listed " the property from business rates from the date we moved in and issued council tax demands.We have asked the council to offset these monies against the council tax and reissue reduced demands with a proposed payment plan .We.We know and accept were liable but why should we pay in effect twice,We don't have the funds they are asking for -early £9000 .The money is there at the council just not with the correct label and not enough of it,Can they legally charge and retain two sets of rates.taxes for the same property as -it isn't a pub or business with accommodation attached?
    We have to keep paying our rent as is otherwise we are breaching the terms of our contract.
    A stop notice will be issued soon meaning we will have to leave our home which brings other issues into play.My mother who is 72 lives with us and because of her medical needs and my partners medical needs we need a bungalow to live in.There is absolutely nothing to rent privately within our area that is anywhere near suitable.We have been searching since last August.The council housing department have been less than helpful.
    CAB have been amazing so far but this has been a puzzler for them too.
    The stress is enormous on all of us..
    Can anyone assist please ?
    Thank you
Page 1
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 10th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    • 9,449 Posts
    • 12,665 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    Who's the "we" please? - Mum, you, & perhaps partner/kids??

    The occupant is almost always liable for council tax: So probably you will have to pay: But as you have a contract saying council tax included I suspect you could sue landlord for any council tax bill you have to pay. And as he owns property eventually (maybe when he sells or dies, if you have a charge put against property..) you will get the £££££.

    Ask landlord for proof he did pay council tax for your home: My suspicion is he never did...

    Be careful with council tax though, it's the only debt you can end up in jail for: Sorry. See
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/dealing-with-urgent-debts/dealing-with-council-tax-arrears/
    If you still don!!!8217;t pay

    In extreme cases you could go to prison, but normally only if you!!!8217;re deliberately not paying your Council Tax.
    • fozziebeartoo
    • By fozziebeartoo 10th Feb 18, 12:40 PM
    • 1,545 Posts
    • 12,580 Thanks
    fozziebeartoo
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:40 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:40 PM
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5789072
    • CIS
    • By CIS 10th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    • 10,406 Posts
    • 6,013 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:39 PM
    Hello hope someone can assist/advise on what is a very confusing situation.
    We entered into a rental agreement nearly 7 years ago.,which states council tax is included in our rent,CAB have confirmed that our tenancy is AST.-no problem so far .Last August it came to light through a neighbour dispute than escalated physically between our landlord and a neighbour( we were not party at all in the dispute) that the property is in fact a holiday let with no planning permission for residential use..This is where things get even more complex.
    The council in Nov 2017 sent us over 6 years worth of council tax demands and we have been battling ever since to get things sorted.Turns out the landlord has been paying business rates to the council which is obviously a lot less than council tax in this case and because he does not have planning permission to let the property as per our agreement.
    The council have "de-listed " the property from business rates from the date we moved in and issued council tax demands.We have asked the council to offset these monies against the council tax and reissue reduced demands with a proposed payment plan .We.We know and accept were liable but why should we pay in effect twice,We don't have the funds they are asking for -early £9000 .The money is there at the council just not with the correct label and not enough of it,Can they legally charge and retain two sets of rates.taxes for the same property as -it isn't a pub or business with accommodation attached?
    We have to keep paying our rent as is otherwise we are breaching the terms of our contract.
    A stop notice will be issued soon meaning we will have to leave our home which brings other issues into play.My mother who is 72 lives with us and because of her medical needs and my partners medical needs we need a bungalow to live in.There is absolutely nothing to rent privately within our area that is anywhere near suitable.We have been searching since last August.The council housing department have been less than helpful.
    CAB have been amazing so far but this has been a puzzler for them too.
    The stress is enormous on all of us..
    Can anyone assist please ?
    Thank you
    Originally posted by Puzzled pickle
    Presumably England or Wales ?

    CAB will struggle as it's outside their normal remit and well within the inner depths of council tax legislation - it's not something they're generally experienced in as their main area falls in to debt management, not council tax legislation itself. It's hit and miss as to whether you find someone in CAB who knows how to deal with these queries, if they do then it's usually an ex-council employee.

    The valuation office agency in E & W are responsible determining if a property should be banded for council tax or rated for non-domestic use - the council have no say in the matter but are required to issue council tax demand notices on the basis of an entry to the valuation list.

    The entry to a valuation list, as determined by the valuation office, will usually be backdated to the date of change and then a council tax demand issued for the backdated amount. The business rates, as the period of charge no longer exists, would be either returned to the payer or offset against other debts they have with the council.
    Last edited by CIS; 10-02-2018 at 1:50 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead as a self employed consultant. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 10th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,675 Posts
    • 2,198 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    It must be the same person.

    Sorry OP, theres nothing to add to the answers you received the first time round which ultimately mean youre liable for the backdated council tax. It was always your responsibility to pay it and taking your landlords assurance that it was included in your rent is no defence. You arent being asked to pay it twice, either. Your late landlord paid the business rates but thats an entirely separate matter from your council tax so there wont be any offsetting. I suspect the LLs estate will seek to recover any business rates paid in error.

    You say it was stated in the rental agreement but in the previous thread, you werent able to confirm you had a copy of that agreement, so which is it? Do you have the rental agreement? Does it specifically state that council tax was included? If the answer to both of those is yes I wonder if you have a route to try and recover something from the late landlords estate, but that doesnt exempt you from the council tax debt you owe.

    With regard to your future housing needs, have you looked out of the current area? If you require something specific that isnt available in your area I dont see that you have a choice but to look further afield.
    Last edited by Aylesbury Duck; 10-02-2018 at 2:23 PM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Feb 18, 2:25 PM
    • 10,598 Posts
    • 8,820 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 2:25 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 2:25 PM
    Regarding the CT problem there is little to add. You owe the CT and you need to claim back from your LL the CT element included in your rent.

    With regard to your housing needs, few councils will have bungalows other than the 1 bed type designated for OAPs. They may have 2 bed ground floor flats. But even if they do there may be none vacant.
    • Puzzled pickle
    • By Puzzled pickle 10th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Puzzled pickle
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    Thank you to all that replied with useful and sensible comments.BTW- my post is not the same as the one post linked in some of the replies.Our landlord is male, very much alive and kicking and,the property is a house.
    It looks like the path that may be the right one is to pay( somehow ?) and then try to recover through small claims court..The landlord has not paid business rates in error,he was paying business rates( via our rent) as a smokescreen as he has no right to let the property as a residential property-holiday let only,which is why i noted offsetting as yes we will have paid twice.
    Punchline is we will have to pay and lose our home all because we were conned by a landlord and agent.
    Thank you again for those that have tried to help.
    • elmer
    • By elmer 10th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    • 815 Posts
    • 1,421 Thanks
    elmer
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    Another thing to consider is that most holiday lets get 100% rebate from Non Domestic Rates, so your landlord probably wasn't paying the council anything at all.

    We do find quite a few holiday lets are then let as domestic properties and the landlords can "forget" to tell us for quite some time, probably because for rates they dont pay anything but once its a domestic property Council Tax will be due even after the tenant has left

    Did you get rubbish collections?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 10th Feb 18, 6:14 PM
    • 10,406 Posts
    • 6,013 Thanks
    CIS
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:14 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:14 PM
    Another thing to consider is that most holiday lets get 100% rebate from Non Domestic Rates, so your landlord probably wasn't paying the council anything at all.

    We do find quite a few holiday lets are then let as domestic properties and the landlords can "forget" to tell us for quite some time, probably because for rates they dont pay anything but once its a domestic property Council Tax will be due even after the tenant has left

    Did you get rubbish collections?
    Originally posted by elmer
    About 4 or 5 years ago I started to see a rise in these sorts of cases and there were quite a few large shocks for people. It can get expensive very fast.
    Last edited by CIS; 10-02-2018 at 6:17 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead as a self employed consultant. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 10th Feb 18, 9:58 PM
    • 1,675 Posts
    • 2,198 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Thank you to all that replied with useful and sensible comments.BTW- my post is not the same as the one post linked in some of the replies.Our landlord is male, very much alive and kicking and,the property is a house.
    It looks like the path that may be the right one is to pay( somehow ?) and then try to recover through small claims court..The landlord has not paid business rates in error,he was paying business rates( via our rent) as a smokescreen as he has no right to let the property as a residential property-holiday let only,which is why i noted offsetting as yes we will have paid twice.
    Punchline is we will have to pay and lose our home all because we were conned by a landlord and agent.
    Thank you again for those that have tried to help.
    Originally posted by Puzzled pickle
    My apologies for assuming this was the same situation. The coincidences are marked and it seemed such a unique situation I didnít consider it could possibly be another case, especially in the same week!

    I think youíre in a better position than the other poster but as you say, youíll have to stump up the council tax and try to recover what you paid the LL for.
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