Council Tax – I have let my property for less than 6 months and now the council are telling me that I, as landlord, am liable for the Council Tax, not the tenant. Can this be right? I would not have let for less than 6 months if I had known this.
You can let for less than 6 months with an AST, though you cannot then use the S.21 procedure until 6 months is up.
As an alternative, a short-term letting can be achieved if it is the landlord’s main residence, when going abroad for example, if an Assured Tenancy (AT) is created with a ground 1 notice being served.
In these circumstance you should seek legal advice because if you create a full AT you could have trouble re-gaining possession.
The Local Government Finance Act 1992 – Ch1 P6 – applies to Council Tax liabilities:
There are some circumstances where the landlord may be liable for Council tax in the first instance – non resident tenant or less than 6 months letting.
However, this does not mean that the landlord cannot re-claim Council Tax he paid from the tenant:
1 by building a CT element into the rent
2 by a straightforward demand for payment where the agreement states that the Council Tax is payable by the tenant.
So the key point is having this clearly set-out as a clasue in your agreement – the tenant is responsible for Council Tax.
©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England & Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.