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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I am a landlord that rents our a two bedroom flat in South

Resolved Question:

Hi
I am a landlord that rents our a two bedroom flat in South London. Up till 03/03/2014 I had two tenants that shared the flat together. On 03/03/2014 one of the tenants decides to abscond owing me over £621.00 rent, as well as unpaid Council Tax and Utility bills. Unfortunately the council tax department is pursuing the remaining tenant for total amount owing, regardless of the fact that they have already received receipted payments from him.The council tax department argues that the council tax is on the property not on the individuals within it. I have been to the Police who inform me as it was not classed as criminal but a civil matter I would need to take a summons out against the tenant. Taking out a summons against someone does not look to be a straight forward matter as the police make it sound
Also,how do I take out a court summons against someone that I have no idea where they are?
And how do I protect my remaining tenant, who is the innocent party in this matter,from either being summons himself or have negative credit scoring being issued by the council tax department. Is there something within the law that this can be set aside until I am successful in getting a summons issued on the other tenant... when ever that may be?
Kind regards
John Hynes
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

The Council tax is a liability for the INDIVIDUALS who reside

Alex Watts :

It is only where there is a live in Landlord or its a house of HMO that a Landlord would be responsible.

Alex Watts :

Apart from the above the tenants are liable

Alex Watts :

You can't stop the other tenant being summonsed as they are JOINTLY responsible

Alex Watts :

But you are NOT liable as Landlord

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

I am already aware of the fact that I am not liable. It is not about liability but about helping someone to deal with a particular situation that has come about because of how the council's tax departments administer council tax allocation to properties. This tenant could be my son, or even your son, and because of no fault of his he could unwittingly find himself having to facing a summons and suddenly be on the wrong side of the law...that is of a concern to me personally. My other concern is more about the raising a summons for the rough tenant and how I can get this set aside legally, whilst in the process of endeavouring to serve the summons

Alex Watts :

If the tenant is joint and shares then they are joint and severally liablke

Alex Watts :

liable

Alex Watts :

This means they are BOTH jointly liable

Alex Watts :

You can't protect that tenant

Alex Watts :

If they shared they are jointly liable - you can't get around that

Alex Watts :

This is a matter of dispute and resolution between the two tenants'

Alex Watts :

I know it appears wrong but this is a dispute between two tenants.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you are looking for and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Hi Alex Basically, how does the tenant resolve this dispute himself? What action within the law can the tenant take in order to protect himself from this incongruous situation? Regards John

Alex Watts : He can sue one tenant, but he needs a forwarding address
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

He does not have a forwarding address. If we knew his address I would be pursueing him for unpaid rent

Customer:

Can I purchase or buy the council debt from the tenant and deal directly with the council tax department myself.That way I will issue a summons and employee a private detective agency to serve the summons upon the rough tenant.

Alex Watts : No
Alex Watts : The debt is owed by the tenant to the council - you can't avoid that.
Alex Watts : I am sorty
Alex Watts : sorry
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