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Diversity
29-10-2009, 12:26 PM
I have a tenant who was recently laid off, he just stopped paying his portion of the CT citing that the local council says he just needs to provide his National Insurance number showing he is claiming benefits from 1 Sept onwards, exempting him from having to pay CT for this period. Is this true?

tom999
29-10-2009, 12:59 PM
The only 'households' exempt from CT, are those containing only full time students. If tenant's income and savings are below a certain level and he's not already done so, he may need to apply for CT Benefit.

Diversity
29-10-2009, 13:14 PM
The only evidence he has given is a scan couple of pages of his Jobseeker's Allowance claim document. It says on page 2 (of 4) under the heading HOUSIG BENEFIT & COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT: "You could get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. Get in touch with your local council as soon as possible"

In terms of 'Households' the flat has two other tenants who are full time employed. So it is definitely not a completely Student flat. Quite the opposite. He's a solicitor and just found a 3 month contract. I doubt he's on minimum wage. As for savings, yes it might be low, depending on his ability to save.

Looks like he needs to send me a copy of his CT Benefit application and the council's resultant decision as proof.

I think it's he's responsibility to prove this. I should not have to call the council to verify, as I assume they will not give out information over the phone like this due to the data and privacy act.

Any suggestions how to take this forward?

TIA

dominic
29-10-2009, 13:21 PM
It shouldn't concern you at all (unless the tenancy agreement says you will pay it on his behalf).

As your property is occupied by a T, he is liable to the council unless he demonstrates otherwise.

Provided the T remains a T, the council cannot come after you as LL.

tom999
29-10-2009, 13:22 PM
Assuming this is an AST in England or Wales, then a typical clause may include tenant's obligations* to pay bills.

Ask tenant for proof of CT application and council's response (as you've suggested) in writing (keep proof of postage), reminding him of these obligations* and failure to do so would be a breach of tenancy and result in him being given notice to leave.

Diversity
29-10-2009, 13:24 PM
It shouldn't concern you at all (unless the tenancy agreement says you will pay it on his behalf).

Yes, in the TA I pay the CT. Its under my name, and the tenants have to pay their share to me with the rent.

Diversity
29-10-2009, 13:27 PM
Assuming this is an AST in England or Wales, then a typical clause may include tenant's obligations* to pay bills.

Ask tenant for proof of CT application and council's response (as you've suggested) in writing (keep proof of postage), reminding him of these obligations* and failure to do so would be a breach of tenancy and result in him being given notice to leave.

Yes it is an AST within England. And yes the TA does have multiple clauses about T's obligations to pay bills. And in the event any bills are paid by/on behalf of the LL that the T must reimburse the LL.

I will ask for proof. Thanks for your advice Tom

Poppy
30-10-2009, 08:45 AM
Would it not have been simpler to charge rent and council tax as one amount called "rent"? You wouldn't have this problem. Something for future lettings maybe.

I don't know whether this tenant will be able to claim council tax benefit because he's not the bill-payer. Hopefully one of the benefit experts will give you that answer.

Diversity
30-10-2009, 12:06 PM
Would it not have been simpler to charge rent and council tax as one amount called "rent"? You wouldn't have this problem. Something for future lettings maybe.

I don't know whether this tenant will be able to claim council tax benefit because he's not the bill-payer. Hopefully one of the benefit experts will give you that answer.

yes, i do charge it as part of the rent which i collect monthly. he just emailed me two months back saying he was looking for work and that he said he didn't have to pay CT and just paid rent less the CT element. Not happy about him unilaterally do this without the formal paperwork as proof

Poppy
30-10-2009, 16:38 PM
Strange! My point is that the tenants should not know how much of the rent is attributable to council tax or any other expense for that matter.

Diversity
02-11-2009, 08:31 AM
its hard as some tenants ask how much they are being charged for CT. I prefer to have transparency so T's know what they are paying for.