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mikeb19
20-09-2006, 08:43 AM
I have an AST until 12th December, but I am planning on moving out at least a month before this as I have purchased a property. I will continue to pay my rent until the end of the term but will I still have to pay council tax, electric and water bills after I have moved out?

Any help will be mich appreciated

Planner
20-09-2006, 09:35 AM
You will still be responsible for Council Tax and Water Rates as the tennancy agreement will still be valid, and it will state you are responsible for these things. As there is no one living in the property, if you take meter readings for gas and electric when you leave, and make sure everything is switched off, there wont be any more to pay as no one will be using it.

Surrey
20-09-2006, 11:23 AM
You will still be responsible for Council Tax and Water Rates as the tennancy agreement will still be valid, and it will state you are responsible for these things. As there is no one living in the property, if you take meter readings for gas and electric when you leave, and make sure everything is switched off, there wont be any more to pay as no one will be using it.

But isn't it one of the conditions of an AST that it is to be your main or only residence? If you move out and don't live there I wonder if it could be argued you're in breach of the agreement! (That's not a serious concern here, more a question for the legal posters to get their heads round.)

Seriously though, usually there are clauses in agreements stating what you should do if the property is going to be empty for more than a couple of weeks. This might involve turning off stopcocks and draining down water systems, or particularly at that time of the year ensuring that heating is left on for certain minimum periods. I suggest you speak to your landlord and work with them about dealing with the empty period. You might even find that they are willing to 'let you off' for the last month or so, particularly if they have another tenant lined up, or they might be willing to return your deposit that little bit earlier if you have effectively handed back the keys. In any case, you should let them know so that they can decide how they wish to deal with the property during that last month. And of course if there WERE any problems during that last month and you didn't tell the landlord about them because you weren't there, you could find yourself liable, particularly as their insurance may well include clauses about the property being empty.

As for council tax, if you're not living in the property because you have bought your own, I suspect that even IF you are liable for the Council Tax you'd be able to get some discount for that last month. Similarly with water rates, as there will be no-one living there you might be able to get a rebate for that last month. (Unless of course your landlord takes back possession early.)

So now I've stopped rambling, do talk to your landlord. It is good that you are happy to pay the rent for that last month so you are obviously a 'decent' tenant. If you were my tenant I'd want to work with you on this. Oh, and if your landlord takes back possession early, do get it down in writing exactly what has been agreed.

Ericthelobster
20-09-2006, 12:48 PM
You will still be responsible for Council Tax and Water Rates as the tennancy agreement will still be valid, and it will state you are responsible for these things.Depends on where you live, but in most cases there are exemptions for the above.... I recently had an outgoing tenant hand back the keys almost 4 weeks early (as their property purchase had been brought forward suddenly), and the property qualified for exemption on Council Tax (being unfurnished; for up to 6 months); and there's no water charges until new tenant moves in. Snag is that the LL has to action these once the tenant has moved out (and has notified the Council and Water co.) but he should be happy to do that if you've been a good tenant!

As there is no one living in the property, if you take meter readings for gas and electric when you leave, and make sure everything is switched off, there wont be any more to pay as no one will be using itYes, provided gas and electric are on no-standing-charge tarrifs, otherwise there will be a bill. In the case I mentioned above, I knew there was no standing charge, but discovered a month later that upon change of occupier (ie, to me as LL), the billing defaults to having a standing charge (although it was waived, backdated).

wrigaj1
26-09-2006, 20:46 PM
I am in the exact same situation!

According to my tenancy, i am responsible for all utility bills and council tax etc during my tenancy.

I discussed the Council Tax with the Council and, much to my surprise, they said I would have to pay more if I move out! I get 25% reduction as I am a single occupant, yet if the property is unoccupied but furnished, you only receive a 10% reduction (not sure how they work that out). Anyway, I have paid enough Council tax for the final month, and I am entitled to a rebate.

Re the water, electricity and gas. I am moving out on Saturday and I am to take final meter readings and contact the utility companies. As the previous poster has said, if all the appliances are switched off, there should be no gas/electricity used during the period of unoccupancy.

As for the letting agents letting you off early, I would say "dream on"!!! From dealing with my letting agents they are a bunch of crooks who dont give a damn about their tenants and just look after the landlord!

ATI
26-09-2006, 22:11 PM
If you have left furniture then yes it is 10% as you only get one discount and not two either 25% or 10% but if it is unfurnished and you live in teh same council i can not see how you get charged twice??????? I did not have to pay it twice when i moved out a month before
remember the agents at the council do not know more than you do sometimes they are being told what you already know. speak to supervisor or manager. i asked once for extended housing benefit and tax rebate and was turned down i did not buy it and spoken to a manager and he agreed as i had special reasons

Surrey
26-09-2006, 22:42 PM
...As for the letting agents letting you off early, I would say "dream on"!!! From dealing with my letting agents they are a bunch of crooks who dont give a damn about their tenants and just look after the landlord!

You need to remember one thing about letting agents: THE AGENT WORKS FOR THE LANDLORD and so SHOULD be looking after him - it's the landlord who pays them, after all! (Well that's supposed to be how it works, in truth there are some who just work for themselves, but that's a whole different question, discussed in lots of other threads...)

If you as a tenant want to be let off early and you're not able to have any useful communication with the agent, ask them for the landlord's address if you don't have it and go to him direct. Any half-reasonable landlord will at least be prepared to listen to what you have to say, and you may be able to come to some arrangement.

In all of the communications you have with either LL or agent, do make sure you either keep a copy if you've written, or write to them confirming the conversation you had. Just in case (you catch my drift?)