Ex-student flat mate refuses to pay council tax Watch

Jae267
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I'm in a flat with three other people, all of us are students apart from one, we'll call him Tim.

Tim failed his resits during the summer, and was therefore expelled from uni in September.

We're currently living in a HMO university owned flat, and have been here since June (12 months contract). We are each individually responsible for our rent, as we are in multiple housing occupation.

Because the uni accommodation are a bit crap, they don't know/haven't checked that Tim is still a student. Therefore he hasn't had to pay any council tax for the past month and a half (and is trying his best to avoid paying it for the next 8).

My question is, when he is caught for avoiding it, is it possible that the rest of us could get blamed/be liable too?

We've tried convincing him to just take the tax on the chin and pay up, but the problem is he's got no money to pay it and it would mean him moving back home, so he's outright refusing.

We're quite close to just emailing the uni ourselves as he clearly doesn't give a s*** that we also might get in bother, but I thought I might as well ask here beforehand to check where stand legally.

We're located in Glasgow btw.
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joker12345
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Leave him alone. It's not your business or place to harass him, or tell on him. You advised him to pay, he decided not to - if he gets caught it's on him.
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sr90
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Full time students are exempt from paying council tax so it is none of your concern. I graduated last summer and i'm currently living with 3 final year students, and the Council Tax bill is in my name only.

They will find out and the longer he delays it it's only going to get worse. Council Tax is probably the worst debt to be in. I'm due to make my first payment at the end of this month and I got sent a reminder to say that if it wasn't received by a certain date, i'd have to pay the full amount at once plus an extra £108!

(Original post by Jae267)
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Jae267
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(Original post by joker12345)
Leave him alone. It's not your business or place to harass him, or tell on him.
It certainly is my business if he's committing tax fraud in a flat we share and it's entirely possible I'm going to get blamed for not declaring it. I'm not harassing him in any way at all. I want to make sure that I'm not going to get fined, or even possibly a criminal record, because of what he's doing, which is why I'm asking here to see if anyone's had a similar experience.

EDIT: To make it clear, this isn't a case of him owing council tax and not paying it. He's consciously not declaring himself a non-student in order to avoid paying it, which is illegal, hence why I am concerned.
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joker12345
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(Original post by Jae267)
It certainly is my business if he's committing tax fraud in a flat we share and it's entirely possible I'm going to get blamed for not declaring it. I'm not harassing him in any way at all. I want to make sure that I'm not going to get fined, or even possibly a criminal record, because of what he's doing, which is why I'm asking here to see if anyone's had a similar experience.
You are exempt, council tax is up to him. You won't get blamed. It's not up to you to police other people (in the eyes of the law, at least).
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Klix88
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You need to bear in mind that Council Tax is payable on a *property*, based on the status of the occupants (in your situation). The fact that one person is not a full-time student, means that a reduced rate of Council Tax is payable on the property and is the responsibility of all occupants. If/when it is found that he is still in the property, you will all be legally liable to pay part of the backdated Council Tax bill. If it isn't paid, there may be court proceedings against all of you (debt recovery is a big political hot potato, so you can reasonably expect this).

So the debt isn't Tim's, it's a debt on all of you from when he was kicked out of uni onwards. And the longer you leave it, the bigger your potential debt will get. You urgently need to take action. Report him to the uni for remaining in the accommodation and if they don't act to evict him, keep telling them. If it's uni-owned, then he shouldn't be there. That way you have something in writing which proves that you've at least tried to something about the situation, which may work in your favour in future.
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Mimsycrafts
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(Original post by Klix88)
You need to bear in mind that Council Tax is payable on a *property*, based on the status of the occupants (in your situation). The fact that one person is not a full-time student, means that a reduced rate of Council Tax is payable on the property and is the responsibility of all occupants. If/when it is found that he is still in the property, you will all be legally liable to pay part of the backdated Council Tax bill. If it isn't paid, there may be court proceedings against all of you (debt recovery is a big political hot potato, so you can reasonably expect this).

So the debt isn't Tim's, it's a debt on all of you from when he was kicked out of uni onwards. And the longer you leave it, the bigger your potential debt will get. You urgently need to take action. Report him to the uni for remaining in the accommodation and if they don't act to evict him, keep telling them. If it's uni-owned, then he shouldn't be there. That way you have something in writing which proves that you've at least tried to something about the situation, which may work in your favour in future.
I second the above. It is a tax on the property not an individual. They will catch up with him as the uni will send lists of who is a registered student to the local authority to check. Depending on the band of the property he could be accumulating quite a debt which is on the property.

I think in this case a recorded letter to the landlord who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that council tax is paid advising that there is a council tax due on the property and asking him to delegate the payment responsibilities to the non student via contract. It may be that as students the landlord has made no provisions for council tax in his contract.
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Reue
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(Original post by Jae267)
We're currently living in a HMO university owned flat
In a HMO registered property council tax is the responsability of the landlord.

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3356
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joey11223
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(Original post by Reue)
In a HMO registered property council tax is the responsability of the landlord.

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3356
Thing is though lets say this guy manages to get away with it for 5 months, then landlord finds out one isn't a student....what happens? Would the landlord legally be able to chase them all for money he now has to pay which he wasn't aware due to this Tim guy not being honest, or is Tim solely responsible?
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Reue
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(Original post by joey11223)
Thing is though lets say this guy manages to get away with it for 5 months, then landlord finds out one isn't a student....what happens? Would the landlord legally be able to chase them all for money he now has to pay which he wasn't aware due to this Tim guy not being honest, or is Tim solely responsible?
Unless the contract specifically states that the tenants must inform the landlord of any change in circumstances; I can't see how Tim or any other occupant could be liable.

Regardless; The legal issues would be between the council and the landlord. The landlord could then pursue a civil case to reclaim the moneys however there would be no chance of any criminal convictions against the tenants.

Also; As it's a HMO I'd take a strong guess that each tenant has their own tenancy agreement? In which case the issues between landlord and a single tenant are only between them and of no concern to other tenants.

Disclaim: All replies are in my opinion and what I believe to be true. OP should seek independant legal advice if they are concerned.
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Mimsycrafts
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I think as a responsible tenant the best thing to do is let the landlord know and then it just becomes his problem to resolve not the tenants
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