A cross-party group of MPs has urged the government to ensure HMO and other ‘all inclusive’ landlords don’t pocket multiple council tax rebates under its new scheme announced last month.

Scores of households across the country who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit will not automatically receive Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £150 giveaway, such as tenants in HMOs.

This has caused growing confusion among local authorities about how they will administer the scheme, with some council bosses complaining that they won’t be able to identify many of those without a bank account.

Clive Betts (main picture), chairman of the Levelling Up select committee, says the Secretary of State needs to spell out what will happen in households where tenants pay their council tax to their landlord.

Multiple rebates

He adds: “Payments must go to tenants and we need to avoid the prospect of landlords receiving multiple rebates. The rebate is welcome but we need to know more from Whitehall about what they are doing to support local councils to deliver this policy and provide firm assurances that councils will not be hit by further costs from administering the rebates.”

About 20 million households in council tax bands A to D – including 95% of rented properties – are set to benefit from the £3 billion council tax rebate, which does not have to be repaid.

But many councils are daunted by the prospect of processing applications from those who do not pay by direct debit.

dwayne johnson sefton hmo

Dwayne Johnson, chief executive of Sefton Council (pictured), says that in his borough, of the 114,000 properties eligible for the rebate scheme, 38,000 of them do not pay council tax by direct debit, which will cause an enormous administrative burden and opens up the potential for fraud.

Roger Truelove, leader of Swale council, says it is having to trace 55,000 council taxpayers, who in some cases won’t be the payer of the fuel bills. He adds: “We will do all we can to make this work but it looks as though the government thinks that we have unlimited resources to do their work.”

8 COMMENTS

    • And what about tenants who’ve moved out? Do I have to chase them? Do they get a pro-rata rebate? If the rebate is to help against high fuel bills should it then stay with the landlord who is paying the utility bills? What about room-to- rent? Do they get a rebate too?

      • The landlord won’t be paying much. Only standing charge if property is empty they should not get anything as it will be abuse Mark my words on that must like the bounce back loan

  1. If the HMO has been charged per bedroom with several lots of Council Tax (which we hear is happening) THEN each rebate should go to each tenant.

    If it’s one rebate for 5 tenants then split it 5 ways amongst whoever is there at the time. We’re hardly talking vast sums here are we.

    • If, and when, CT is charged per bedroom won’t the tenants be eligible for general waste and recycling bins? They’ll take up almost all the yard in my 2 up 2 downs – that’ll be 3 general and 3 recycling 🙁 .

      Will anyone be liable for double CT on empty rooms?

  2. Don’t the council send out postal orders to hmo tennants who pay their rent and council tax to the landlord directly.regards john

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