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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71156
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I own a tenanted property in the North of England. My tenant

Customer Question

I own a tenanted property in the North of England. My tenant has not paid me any rent in 5 months and has since vacated the property. I received a phone call from the Council some months ago asking if I knew where the tenant was now residing. At that time I dint and told them so. Subsequently I recieved a letter from them asking me the same question.
At this point I did, so I honed them and told them. This morning I have recieved a summons to appear at the local county court, presumably with regards XXXXX XXXXX tax .
My question is, as the Landlord am I responsible if the tanant has not paid the council tax??
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Was he on an AST?

Did you tell them he was the liable person?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I dont know that legally he is, which is why Im asking you the question.

He was occupying the property at the time, so does that mean that legally he has to pay the council tax or am I still responsible???

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Was he on an AST?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have no idea what AST is but he was employed putting in roofing insulation for one of the goverment schemes when he moved in. After two months in my property he lost that job and went back as a jobbing builder

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
An assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes he had a 6month AST

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

I'm just travelling right now but if you can give me 20 mins I will be able to look at this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

There is a hierarchy of liability with Council Tax.

Normally the person living in the property is the primary liable person.

There are some occasions where it will be the owner rather than the occupier. Those usually extend though to HMOs, care homes or other temporary accommodation.

If you are able to show the Council an AST which says that its the tenant's responsibility to pay council tax – and standard ASTs do – most likely they would concede.

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