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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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The below question has been asked (25 March) but not yet

Resolved Question:

The below question has been asked (25 March) but not yet answered and I can not find how to reply to the your last reply. So I regret I ask again.I have tried to keep this brief. If there is any additional information you require, please so advise.
BACKGROUND
Following the death of my first wife on 4th April 2015, our three children were the principal beneficiaries of her house.
The two elder are resident overseas and the younger in UK.
I moved into the property on 7th April 2015 and I made it a point to pay all utility and council tax bills from that date and whilst I was in residence. The sole purpose was to ensure no squatter occupation.
The local Council would not acknowledge my claim to pay the Council Tax until I sent them the following: -
According to HMR&C document PIM2030 - Deductions: General Rules: Rates & Council Tax under ‘Council Tax’ second paragraph, quote “Liability to pay council tax will, in the main, fall on individuals residing in the dwelling in question.” unquote.
On 21st November 2015, I advised the Council by letter sent under registered mail that I would vacate the property on 1st December 2015; which I did. Hence I was no longer resident and never was the property owner.
The Council have charged me as follows: quote their message:
Charge period: 7th April 2015 to 3rd January 2016 (you are charged until date of sale)
Charge for period: £1389.15
Discounts:- £347.29 (Single person discount)
Paid: £1041.86
(£228.93 paid on 24th September 2015, £230.00 paid on 19th October 2015, £228.93 paid on 13th November 2015, £230.00 paid on 22nd February 2016, £124.00 paid on 1st March 2016)
Account balance as of 11th March 2016: £0.00
unquote
However, in accordance with HMR&C document and having given due notice to vacate, I believe I have been dishonestly overcharged by £126.89 as follows: -
QUESTION
If this is correct, I would so advise the Council and would like to claim interest on the unlawful charge at 2% above the Base Rate of Barclays Bank PLC of 0.5%. = 1.02x0.05=0.51%x126.869 = a daily rate of ~ £0.65 applicable from 1st March 2016 (date of last payment).
Please confirm if my argument and the interest charge rate if the statements above are correct.
Thank you very much for your time.
Yours faithfully
David Burchmore
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.For clarity - you wrote and asked the council to bill you?Who were named as Executors of the Estate?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello Clare,
Good to hear from you again.
Qu. ...you wrote and asked the council to bill you?
Ans: I asked the Council to bill me instead of the Executors; because I had taken up residency in the property - being the ex-husband and father of the Beneficiaries.
[As noted "The sole purpose was to ensure no squatter occupation"]
Initially, the council refused to acknowledge the HMR&C document PIM2030 that... Quote “Liability to pay council tax will, in the main, fall on individuals residing in the dwelling in question.” unquote. I had to advise them of their responsibility.
Qu: Who were named as Executors of the Estate?
Ans: The Executors where: a) a close friend & b) "one of the partners...in the firm (named solicitors)..."
a). The close friend declined to act & b) the solicitor firm had closed due to the death of the principal solicitor some few years earlier.
The Beneficiaries instructed another firm of solicitors to help them.If you require any further information, please ask.
Kind regards
David
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
You were liable for the Council Tax until you leftBetween that date and the date of the sale it was payable by the EstateYou should recover the balance due from the Executors and not from the council.Please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Noted with thanks.
According to government web site , it states Quote "You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home. " unquote.
I neither owned nor rented the property.
Is the statement an anomaly with HMR&C document PIM2030 - Deductions: General Rules: Rates & Council Tax under ‘Council Tax’ second paragraph, quote “Liability to pay council tax will, in the main, fall on individuals residing in the dwelling in question. unquote - because it does not clarify further is owner or renter or non-payment resident?
Thank you.
David
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry.
The web site referred to was
David
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'll say that again - the enclosed bracket before, deleted the page reference
https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/who-has-to-pay
Unless your web page prevents showing web site, so just in case
https://
www.gov.uk/council-tax/who-has-to-pay
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
finishes as - who-has-to-pay
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
I am not sure what the confusion is.Council Tax is payable either by the person living in the property OR the owner
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Yes. Understand. The confusion arises from the Government statement Quote "You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home. " unquote.
Interpreted as: 18 or over = yes, AND own or rent = of which I did neither. I just occupied the property, neither owning nor renting.
However my second quote was
quote “Liability to pay council tax will, in the main, fall on individuals residing in the dwelling in question. unquote
Qu: As the quotes are not for the same requirement (in my mind); which governs?
Sorry for being Pedantic.
Kind regards
David.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
They are a catch all.The liability is on the owner UNLESS there is an agreement that the person residing there pays - either as a result of an agreement OR by voluntary action (such as yours)
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Dear Clare
i's dotted, t's crossed, case closed.
And I thank you so much for, once again, persevering with me,
As my 3 kids (adults with family) were the beneficiaries, I now feel quite happy to have paid the Council Tax for the period I was not in residence at the property.
Until next time...
David
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
You are most welcome

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