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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I had a property repossessedXXXXXwith a court order

Customer Question

I had a property repossessedXXXXXwith a court order granted from a judge it was a buy 2 let property so I've meter lived there after that date the lender enforced the possession order 6 months later council say I owe the council tax however under LGFA 12 mortgagee in possession should be liable after 010413 what is correct please ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a lawyer with over 15 years experience I will try to help you with this. Can you help me with the dates please? Your question seems to say that the property was repossessed on 30.03.14 and you are asking about council tax liability from 01.04.14. Do you mean 2013? Aso for the relevant time were there any tenants in the property?

JACUSTOMER-dw4n7am1- : Hi property repossessed via court order 30313 empty at time of repo lender though only enforced repossession order 6 months later ie 220813 so after the court order date of repossession ie 30313 who pays the council tax ?
LondonlawyerJ :

Thankyou for that very clear. I am in court at the moment but will answer you later today. I hope that is OK.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok. So a possession order made on 30.03.13 but a warrant as not exercised until 22.08.13. You are concerned about CT liability from 01.04.13. If the property is empty the owner is liable for CT. The Mortgage company would be in possession from the date the possession order took effect. So if the order was suspended for 14 days they would come into possession some 14days after the court date. If the order was an absolute order then they would possess the property from the date of the order.

When you refer to section 12 of LGFA 2012 I assume you mean s 13 which inserts the following clause into s 6(2) of the LGFA 1992. Section 13 was clause 12 of th4e bill but is s 13 of the Act.

13Mortgagee in possession to be liable for council tax

(1)In section 6(2) of the LGFA 1992 (persons liable to pay council tax) omit the “or” at the end of paragraph (e) and after that paragraph insert—

“(ea)in the case of a dwelling situated in the area of a billing authority in England, the person is a mortgagee in possession of the owner’s interest in the dwelling; or”.

(2)This section comes into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint.

Most if this Act came into force by April 2013 but this section was not enacted then. The act states that it can be enacted by the secretary of state by statutory instrument. As far as I can tell this has not yet happened. I will carry out a more detailed check into this commencement issue this evening but I think it has not come into force yet.

Also there is an exemption from to liability for CT where a property is the subject of a mortgage possession order. The property is exempt from CT Liability for a limited period of time. This does vary but 6 months is typical.

In short the statutory protection you refer to does not actually exist due to non-commencement (subject to further checking) but the property should be exempt for the whole period between date of order until execution of warrant by the mortgage company. If there is a period where the warrant has been executed and CT is due then I am afraid a rather complex land law issue may arise which s 13 was intended to remove. A Mortgage is a surprisingly complex legal arrangement and on some old constructions your right to equity of redemption (ie to sell and redeem he property) does not. end until the lender has exchanged contracts to sell the property. I doubt the lender entered themselves on the proprietorship register before they executed the possession order.

However you have a good argument that you are not liable as possession had been granted to your lenders and you were therefore not the owner and a good fall back position that the property was exempt from CT.

I hope this answer helps and I will get back to you with an answer on whether s13 of LGFA has commenced.

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
I have looked into this a bit further and it seems that the section has not yet commenced. Sometimes sections of Acts although enacted are never brought into law and I fear this may be the fate of section 13.

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