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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71032
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi. I am very new to this. Can you please bare with me. We

Customer Question

Hi. I am very new to this. Can you please bare with me. We have just taken over a shop which has had the upstairs converted into a flat which we live in. The lease is a commercial lease for the whole property. The rent and business rates are for the whole property. I did ask the landlord if we could have put in the lease a split on the rent for the shop and flat. They said no its a commercial lease not residential. I have just received a letter from council tax saying there are coming to do an inspection on the flat to pay tax on it. Can they do that? If we have to council tax its a huge bill that I dont think we can afford. Plus we are stuck here for five years. Please if anyone can advise me on what to do. Would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi joe


can the council come into our property. and put council tax on our flat?

even though our lease is an commercial lease or the whole property. plus we pay business rates for the whole property.


regards sarah

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the information.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then.

There is no way around this I'm afraid. You live in part of the property and part is commercial. You therefore pay business rates on the commercial part and council tax on the residential.

If the entire building had been rated for business rates then the rates should come down because the whole building is not used for commercial premises.

I wish I could give you better news, but unfortunately that is the situation. I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks Jo. So does it not matter that we dont have a residential lease on the living area? As the lease is a commercial one for the whole property. Plus we use rooms upstairs as show rooms. I have looked on the council tax website and it says commercial not mixed use. Who changes that is it the council or the landlord? Plus do I let my landlord know what's going on.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry but its not what it says in the lease but the actual use to which you put the property that is relevant.

You are living in the property and therefore it is subject to council tax.

I appreciate that it may say that the property is commercial but the fact remains that it is mixed used because you live in it. You may well live in part of it upstairs and use part for showroom. That division can be pointed out to the valuer.