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Council tax query


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I have tenants in my property who have been there for four months. I have received a notice to pay the council tax from the council, who thought the property was empty. It seems neither I nor the tenants informed the council they had moved in. My tenants assumed the rent included council tax even though I verbally informed them it was not part of the rent, only maintenance costs and had informed them by letter that the rent was excluding bills (I didn't mention utilities or council tax in the letter). They now do not want to pay the outstanding four months' rent.

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Hi Jane,

What does your tenancy agreement say ? I assume you have a written, and signed, tenancy agreement ?

Assuming you do not have a written tenancy agreement or the written agreement does not clearly state that the Council Tax is the tenants responsibility and, given you did not notify the Council about the change of tenant and move the Council Tax into their name, I would advise you to pay the Council Tax yourself.

If you have a signed agreement (by the tenants) that states they are responsible for the Council Tax then insist that they pay it under the terms of the agreement.

In the absence of the agreement - you might be able to get the tenants to pay the Council tax money but - during all the upset - you are probably going to lose the tenant - which will mean that you property will then be empty, tenantless and receiving no rent.

You will then need to re-advertise, re-reference and move in new tenants. All of this is going to cost you time, effort and money !

How much Council Tax money is involved ... a few hundred pounds I would guess ....... you will probably lose more money by refusing to pay the bill and losing your tenants.

My advice .... pay up .... and make sure you implement a much clearer tenancy agreement in the future.

Good luck,


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You could try registering them for the council tax now and giving the council the date when they moved in and then i would imagine the council will set up there account from the begining of the tenancy and charge them the amount owed. I would recommend in the future you contact the council and also all the utility companies will all the metre readings yourself as the tenants and the agents dont always do it, even when they say they will.!

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