You've rented out your Enfield property and you assume that your tenants will be paying the Council tax but are you sure?
You've found new tenants - Yay! You've agreed the rent - Yay!! They move in tomorrow - Yay! But hang on a minute,,,, who's going to pay the Council Tax?
Now I imagine almost everyone is gesticulating wildly and shouting 'The tenant, the tenant!' at the screen.
At first glance it seems like a silly question and nine times out of ten you’d be right. If you are renting out a whole property to one household (family) then yes, the tenant will be responsible for the Council Tax. Similarly if you’re renting to sharers who are all named on one Tenancy Agreement, they will collectively be responsible.
However, there are two specific situations where statute dictates that liability remains with the landlord. These are:
1 – Sharers on individual tenancies renting individual rooms in a house, and where the living room and facilities are shared.
2 – Tenants renting a property where the landlord retains part of the property. The landlord may or may not live in the property, he may just keep a locked room within the property.
Generally in shared houses you'll find them advertised as 'all bills included' and this will include Council Tax, but it is technically possible, as I was asked today, to put a clause in each of the tenant’s contracts saying that they are responsible for Council Tax.
All parties may well agree to this and happily sign their contracts but beware! Later down the line if the tenant stops paying, the Council will chase you and not them.
The content of the contract will pale into insignificance because as always, statue trumps contract.
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