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To think my MIL can't possibly rent privately again after not paying council tax for 10+ years?

(40 Posts)
TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 23-Apr-17 18:41:48

Hello, posting for advice, as DH and I have no idea about any of the ins and outs of council tax... we know that they send you a bill, and you pay it, and that's it!

My MIL has been talking this afternoon about finding a flat/annexe (renting) to move into. DH and I don't think it will be easy for her, though, as she has been living on a caravan site for more than ten years, and hasn't paid any council tax in that time. This is because you are technically only supposed to "live" in a mobile home for 11 months of the year max, and have a permanent address elsewhere, on which you pay council tax (this is based on my minimal knowledge, I may be completely wrong). MIL does not have an address elsewhere, but now wants to move into a private rental again.

AIBU to think she's a bit stuck here? Surely the council will want to charge her the ten years of missing council tax once she is in a private rental, and her name appears on bills again?

AntigoneJones Sun 23-Apr-17 18:44:13

no I think you are mistaken. It's an address that 'creates' the tax, and if she didn't have one then...

harderandharder2breathe Sun 23-Apr-17 18:46:03

Presumably she lived with friends or relative the remaining month not in the caravan? She can't be the only person to have been in this position

When a moved into private rental after being a lodger I had several years where I hadn't paid council tax (as I was a lodger all bills included in my rent and CT was paid by landlady), I had absolutely no issues

harderandharder2breathe Sun 23-Apr-17 18:46:33

Agree with PP that council tax is for a property not for a person

Ecureuil Sun 23-Apr-17 18:47:17

No I don't think they will. They don't check where you've been living beforehand (she could have been living with other adults and the council tax was in there name for example). We lived abroad for 2 years, and when we came back no one from the council asked where we'd been living for the past 2 years.
She'll be fine.

Wateroffaduck Sun 23-Apr-17 18:47:35

She will be fine. I have been with my DP for 17 years, my name is on the council tax, never put his name on it as I don't need to, I don't claim the 25% discount. If he moved into his own place he won't be charged 17 years of council tax as has been paying before.

I doubt the council would even ask her old address, she could have been living abroad.

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 23-Apr-17 18:48:03

Sorry, MIL has been living in the mobile home all year round, not doing the 11 month thing. Would that make a difference do you think?

LettuceMash Sun 23-Apr-17 18:48:05

You're wrong.

She'll be fine.

Ecureuil Sun 23-Apr-17 18:48:42

No difference at all. They won't ask where she's been living.

MargaretCavendish Sun 23-Apr-17 18:48:51

How will the council know that she has been living within their jurisdiction and not elsewhere? I'm not 100%, but I don't remember being asked for a previous address when I set up the council tax for my current home. I also can't really see how they could charge her back tax - it's based on property value, so how would they even know which band to charge her if it's entirely theoretical?

BeeFarseer Sun 23-Apr-17 18:49:30

I don't think it will be an issue. Once she has a rental place, she'll pay council tax there for that address. They could ask for her previous address when she rings up to sort it out, but in my experience (renter), they've only ever asked me when I started to occupy the house because that's when you become liable.

FittonTower Sun 23-Apr-17 18:50:32

When I split with an ex and got my own place I'd effectively not been paying council tax as the bills were in his name because it was his flat. I got my own place and started paying council tax and they never asked what I'd been doing or where I'd been living for the past few years, I think your Mil will be fine

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 23-Apr-17 18:52:56

Oh wow, what a relief! Thank you for all the replies (told you we were clueless). On phone with MIL now, it definitely won't cause an issue when she goes to apply for a private rental?

DancingLedge Sun 23-Apr-17 18:53:08

And if they do ask where she was living previously, they're only going to know what she tells them. As others have said, there are a variety of living situations where council tax would not be directly payable in her name.

MrsDarkDestroyer Sun 23-Apr-17 18:53:58

I work in the Council Tax Department. Council tax is on the property as pp has said. They may ask for her previous address but only to link her account to previous addresses to carry payments already made across.

Ecureuil Sun 23-Apr-17 18:54:03

No. Honestly. I've lived abroad, lived with friends and not been on the bill, all sorts! She'll be fine. All they care about is that the council tax on any particular properly is being paid.

SecretNetter Sun 23-Apr-17 18:56:11

How would they know?

I know a couple of people who live at a very well to do caravan park (if there is such a thing grin ) because it's still much cheaper than renting. Ten month occupancy which the owner turns a blind eye to and they're there all year. All they say officially is that they spend 2 months a year staying with friends...no one cares tbh.

Just had a look at our CT bill out of interest and it's in DH's name which I've never realised. So technically there's no record of me paying CT for the 12 years we've lived here either.

LilaoftheGreenwood Sun 23-Apr-17 19:01:45

Hm, are you conflating two questions?

She won't have any issues with the council, there won't be any backdated tax. But if she's talking to letting agents and doesn't have a previous address then yes I guess that might be a problem, it probably makes you a greater risk when they do their credit check.

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 23-Apr-17 19:01:48

Just got off the phone with MIL who is very relieved to say the least! A huge weight off her mind with finding a rental. She's been sort of stuck there since her divorce (like another poster said, in our area it's so much cheaper than renting), but now that she's getting older, she's worried about staying there.

mathanxiety Sun 23-Apr-17 19:06:36

She may need a guarantor for her rent, depending on her credit score. Has she been off the radar as far as credit goes too? Or does she have credit cards or utilities she has been paying faithfully, or rent for the caravan? Does she have a proven source of income?

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sun 23-Apr-17 19:09:24

She does have a salaried income, and her name is on utility bills to the mobile home. Her credit rating is good.

mathanxiety Sun 23-Apr-17 19:10:42

She should be ok then.

She is smart to seek a brick and mortar home.

Spartak Sun 23-Apr-17 19:13:05

I used to work in local Government. She should have been paying Council tax on the mobile home she's been living in. If another nearby resident etc drops her in it and reports her, she may well still get a bill for back payment.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 23-Apr-17 19:25:54

If she has only been living there 11 months. There won't be any tax to pay.
If it were to get out that she was living there for 12 months there could be an issue.

ThreeLeggedCat Sun 23-Apr-17 19:28:19

And the Council would probably like to know that the site owner is not keeping to his licence conditions too (it will be part of his licence conditions that the sites are only occupied for so many weeks of the year).

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