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Council tax and Tenants

It was bought to my attention last month that some Landlords think that unpaid council tax is their problem.

Let me assure you it is not.

How can you prevent yourself from being bitten with an unpaid council tax fine.

Step 1

This may seem like an obvious step, but you'd be surprised at how many Landlords miss this step. Get a legally binding tenancy agreement! If you need help just click here.

Step 2

Prior to the Tenants commencing their tenancy send their signed tenancy agreement to the council. Depending on where your property is located within England there may be a portal for this or an email address.

Step 3

Advise your Tenants to notify the council and sign up for council tax. Here at Drummonds Property Limited, we even provide the link to the Tenants to make it super easy.

Now here's where for some Landlords it gets a little messy. What to do when your tenant hands in their notice or when they vacate. At Drummonds Property Limited we have a set vacate email template, that way we can provide it to the council should a dispute arise. We also advise the tenants that they can use our email as proof. As a Landlord, particularly if you're managing the property yourself, you should have such a template. What should you include? Confirmation of their vacate date. Clearly specify their last date in your property.

The reason for this is, when your tenant has left and you have no forwarding address for them, sometimes the council will send you the landlord a bill. You need to be able to prove without a doubt their tenancy term, or payment of that council tax bill will become your liability. However, if you have irrefutable proof that the tenant is liable for the bill through a given period then the council will chase them. Be sure to provide the council with anything that makes their life easier to find your tenant, so that they will no longer chase you.

Another reason it is really important to get your council tax bill in order with your tenants, is an issue that came to my attention last month. A vendor/seller has turned their one property into 3 flats with no planning permission. This has been the case for over 10 years. He should have no issue getting planning permission. We'd lined up the architect for the planning application and the solicitor to create leases, only to find out the Landlord the entire time had kept the council tax in his name!

I cannot stress this enough!!!! Please, please pleaaaassssseeee property owners do things properly. I know getting a managing agent or letting agent doesn't seem feasible, but we know what we're doing. We're protecting you from the long run! This vendor/seller is now going to struggle to get planning permission, if at all. The short term amount you have to pay to an agent protects you in the long run, and even if you find an agent that does everything wrong (not us of course) at least you have someone to find legal recourse against.

If you have a council tax issue or query, please feel free to contact us:

Drummonds Property Limited contact information, click here

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