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Council tax liability. Any advice??

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Skyrim, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    Can't fathom this one out and wondered if anyone has had a similar problem? When my fiance's mum moved in with me, to best meet her care needs, we informed the LA of the arrangement, applying for him to take over the Council Tax at her property and applying for the disregard at mine. This was all fine...I continued to pay the equivalent of the single person's CT, he paid single person at his address. I should add that we forgot to claim any assistance because he is the full-time Carer.

    Then a relative and his girlfriend needed 10 months accommodation in this area. We offered them rooms with my fiance and a deal on cheaper rent in return for helping him modernise the house which is woefully in need of renovation. The rent goes to fiance's mum to help with her current and future care costs ( mainly day centre at the moment).
    We also inform the council of a change in circumstances.

    At this point it all goes wonky. The council gets difficult and declare its a house in multiple occupation, that my fiance has no right to be there, cannot be liable for council tax and shouldn't have had a rebate. His mum is the liable person and is billed as such, even though she is considered disabled enough to qualify for a rebate while living with me. As she has capacity at times, she understands enough to get narked at the mess and refuses to pay any bills....which was actually a jolly large, and miscalculated one! The council refuse to talk to me or fiance without having a copy of the POA....I get a little awkward, having sent a letter from "MIL" giving express consent for them to do so, on the grounds that I don't need to activate the POA for this and am acting as her advocate, with her permission.

    Much tussling follows and we reach an agreement, of sorts, over the bill but another change is occurring in that the relatives, as planned are moving back home and the property will only be occupied by fiance. I feel the situation cannot remain as an HMO- registered dwelling now but don't know how to handle this with the LA? Shelter and Age Concern have said they are being over-zealous and that cut no ice, so it seems unfair and wrong.

    I would add that all of this is being done to do what his mum wanted, stay in her community, with her known places for as long as she can. Having two homes keeps her future financial options open at present, gives us time and space from caring and offers the possibility of live in paid care. My partner has also lived in the family home many years prior to either parent getting ill and its his only residence. Just don't understand why he isn't able to take over the CT and whether this is a ploy to imply he has no beneficial interest there.

    As I asked originally, has anyone else had a similar bad experience?
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    #2 jenniferpa, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
    Hi and welcome to Talking Point.

    So is your question basically how to unregister this house as an HMO?

    And how exactly is his mother disregarded at your home for the purposes of council tax? On the basis of "mental impairment"?
     
  3. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    Hi skyrim,

    I have very briefly looked into renting out my Mom's house now she is in care but found it all too complicated to deal with at the moment so didn't go too deep.

    I can see no problem with your fiancé living in the house, paying the CT in his name and getting the discount prior to the tenants moving in. I do that in my Mom's house at the moment.

    Once the tenants move in your MiL as owner/landlord of a HMO would become liable for the full amount. Depending on how much the rent was she may also have to now fill in a tax return.

    To remove the HMO status should be as easy as just telling the council. Good luck with that.:rolleyes:
     
  4. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    37
    Council Tax liability

    Yes, MIL qualifies under the mental impairment rule and I am classed as her carer...although I work p/t (as an HCA), I am lucky enough to be able to arrange life so that I provide, at the very least, personal care and then support at night. So, we have established a kind of "shared lives" arrangement that is working very well at the moment.

    I think my problem is around the LA's attitude/ lack of understanding about the MCA, capacity, different "models of care" and that is why I am looking for others' experience and advice. This particular LA decided, when first told about MIls move to my address, that she had "gone into care" an informed the DWP that the son's Carers allowance should be stopped. Six weeks of no income for him. He couldn't have paid his council tax had he wanted or been asked to!! The DWP were actually brilliant...the Carers Team responded really quickly to reinstate it, with mutterings about the LA's assumptions, but it was a bit of a warning to us that things don't go as planned....or as we think are correct. Shelter advised that the relative, my son, should be considered to form one household, so that the HMO status did nit apply and, as we'd assumed full CT wouldnbe payable due to his earnings. But no, not according to the LA.

    If renting out a property is considered a but tricky, HMO status, if you're not a professional, is a nightmare ( I have also been a housing officer). It has massive implications for standards, insurance and rent collection. Don't go there! There is also a hitch in that no CT reductions are possible for tenants on benefits...the full CT has always to be paid. So I have severe reservations about being "just able" to approach this LA and change the status back. Plus I can't get to the bottom of why, if MIl has moved out, why is the remaining part of the household not able to take over liability for the CT? Curiously they won't even tell me that.

    If of any cheer, I managed to get the bill massively reduced by pointing out several errors in their accounting - overlapping billing dates, miscalculation of single occupancy period and, finally, failing to consider monies already paid. I am working with monkeys here.
     

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