View Full Version : Council Tax

14-06-2005, 19:49 PM

I have a house which I let to students. The tenancy agreements states a single monthly sum which they each pay a equal share of.

I've just recieved a 'Council Tax Request for Information' from the local taxation department which asks:

1) Do the residents pay one single rent for the whole property
2) If someone moves out, do the other residents still have to pay the same amount of rent?

If I say "No" and "No" to these 2 questions will I appear to be in breach of the contract and (more importantly) will I be setting myself up to appear as a HMO landlord?

Any help gratefully received...Top

15-06-2005, 00:00 AM
Who pays what rent isn't relevant, your students are not a single household, you are not an educational establishment, so assuming there are more than two students it is a HMO as defined in the Housing Act 2004.

15-06-2005, 06:52 AM
I beg to differ.

The wording and definitions of the Housing Act 2004 are relevant to that Act only (it says so within the Act itself).

This means it does not cover any Acts pertaining to Council Tax.

This means it is perfectly possible to have one definition of HMO for the Housing Act and another one for Council Tax.

If your tenants are on one AST and living together as a single household then for the purposes of the council tax only, then the answers to the question is yes and yes (assuming they pay council tax and that the rent is the rent whether there is one or four students).

HMO's for council tax purposes is where each tenant has his/her own agreement with you and are not jointly and severally liable for the whole of the rent. You would be paying the council tax in this case anyway.

15-06-2005, 07:03 AM
Attila and Steve both have a point.
Whatever you put on the form - after October (not set in stone yet) the house will be an HMO if there are more than 3 students.
So you have already set yourself up to be an HMO landlord.
You should contact your local council for advice on the requirements for HMO's as there may be a rush on to get houses up to standard.
Alternatively let to a family.

15-06-2005, 07:52 AM
Actually, it will be an HMO if two or more unrelated people living together.

Manadatory HMO licensing will be if 5 or more people AND 3 storeys high.

Rest will be HMO's but licensing will depend on the relevant local authority.

15-06-2005, 08:34 AM
Humble apologies Attila
I meant to say 3 or more students as any building occupied only by 2 persons who form 2 households is not an HMO.
(S 254 - Schedule 14 - s7)

Glad the Housing Act 2004 clarified things eh?

15-06-2005, 08:50 AM
Actually, it will be an HMO if two or more unrelated people living together.I got quite worried and posted here about this a while ago when letting a two-bedder, because it seemed that as a landlord I would be compelled to determine the sleeping arrangements and even sexual orientation of any couples (m-m, m-f, or f-f) applying for a tenancy - ie, if they were just "friends" with a bedroom each, then would I be in HMO-land, rather than a straightforward normal tenancy if they were "partners".

I was advised that I would be OK with a normal tenancy, regardless. Please someone tell me the new rules aren't changing this...?!!

15-06-2005, 09:17 AM

Take a look at the Act - Schedule 14

Housing Act (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/20040034.htm)

BUILDINGS WHICH ARE NOT HMOS FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ACT (EXCLUDING PART 1) - (Part 1 is the Housing Health and Safety Rating System)

'any building occupied only by 2 persons who form 2 households'

15-06-2005, 19:07 PM
Thank the lord for that, otherwise anything other than a broomcupboard will be HMO!

15-06-2005, 20:17 PM
I wasn't commenting on council tax, merely pointing out that it is a HMO (or will be shortly) and in deciding that the tenancy agreements are not relevant.

I did not comment on whether it wouild be subject to mandatory licensing, some HMO's will be, which ones remain to be seen. Even if it is not subject to licensing, mandatory or otherwise, it remains a HMO.

So, as has already been stated he has already set himself up as a HMO landlord and he should really talk to his local authority.

16-06-2005, 10:23 AM
Not arguing with you mate, just pointing out the technicalities re Council Tax, not the HMO status re the building/agreements.

It seemed that is what he/she was asing.