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View Full Version : Landlord pays council tax - should I get proof?



Jervaulx
05-12-2005, 10:28 AM
Hi. I live in a converted building at the rear of my landlord's property. I pay monthly rent and the electricity, and he pays for everything else (council tax and water).

Having had problems in the past with dodgy landlords, I wanted to check whether this situation is above-board.

What worries me is that I receive no proof that he is paying for me (no receipt or anything like that), and I know that credit scoring companies track payments like this, and that by not paying I might be doing myself no favours.

I know most people's advice would be 'if you're not paying, keep quiet', but I'd at least like to know what the correct situation should be.

Thanks!

attilathelandlord
05-12-2005, 12:12 PM
It all depends on what it says on the contract. Does it state that you pay or the Landlord pays?

Also, your conversion may not be classified as a separate building for council tax purposes, in which case it is a House in Multiple Occupation and the landlord pays the council tax.

Yours sounds like a perfectly normal HMO council tax situation.

You can always clarify the situation with the Landlord

Jervaulx
05-12-2005, 14:56 PM
It states that I pay ("all council tax, water rates, water service charges and any other taxes or impositions which replace them and other rates, taxes, duties, assessments and outgoings in respect of the premises or the occupier") but as stated before, the landlord is paying.

This is why I'm wondering if it's dodgy or not.

Jervaulx
05-12-2005, 15:10 PM
Oh, and trying to get an answer from the landlord is like trying to get blood from a stone.... :)

Ericthelobster
05-12-2005, 18:16 PM
Well you could simply ring the council, tell them the situation, and ask them if you need to pay or not!

However, I'm guessing that it might be that the council tax folk don't actually know about the existence of the converted building - presumably it was formerly part of your landlord's property, and he hived it off?

Easy to investighate - go to http://www.voa.gov.uk/council_tax/index.htm and you'll be able to check the council tax band for your whole neighbourhood, and you will be able to see if your address 'exists' or not as far as the council tax folk are concerned.

If it doesn't exist, and you contact the council about it, then your landlord would at the very least be liable for a potentially large retrospective council tax bill which would be unlikely to enhance your relationship with him, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation!

If the address does exist, you could just ring the council anyway and ask them if you need to pay them anything, or if it's already being paid.

Let us know what transpires!

Jervaulx
06-12-2005, 10:53 AM
Many thanks for that. Interesting... very interesting. I've checked and my address doesn't exist on that list.

I'm not sure how the 'House in multiple occupation' thing works. Although it was originally an outbuilding in the landlord's back garden, it has its own entrance via the house next door. I don't really see how it could be considered part of his house.

Now I'm wondering how best to proceed with this. I don't want to cause trouble for my landlord, but equally I want everything to be above board, and I certainly don't want any comebacks for me. If the property hasn't been declared as a separate property and no one is paying council tax, then am I in the wrong in any way?

Ericthelobster
06-12-2005, 11:03 AM
Now I'm wondering how best to proceed with this. I don't want to cause trouble for my landlord, but equally I want everything to be above board, and I certainly don't want any comebacks for me. If the property hasn't been declared as a separate property and no one is paying council tax, then am I in the wrong in any way?I think if the council cottoned on, then the LL would be the one in the firing line; but I think if I were you I'd just get him to provide you with something in writing stating that contrary to your tenancy agreement, he is responsible for paying the council tax. Then you would be totally covered.

MrShed
06-12-2005, 11:06 AM
I agree with Eric. You really do need to cover yourself. There are really two questions here. Are you responsible for paying council tax? Yes undoubtedly, in legal terms you are. Are you responsible for notifying the council that you are present in the property? This is the question I am not so sure about, but I would at first thought say no, that is up to the landlord.