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To think paying 75% of the council tax is unfair?

(154 Posts)
NotaSpringChicken Wed 27-Feb-19 21:40:52

Any council officers on here at present? Advice appreciated please.

DD has just moved into a shared house with another young woman. It is DDs first job after 4 years as a student and her first house share. The other girl is a mature student, still at Uni, so far so good.

Today council tax bill arrives. DD is expected to pay 75% of the tax as the other girl is a student and therefore exempt. This means DD picks up the whole bill with a 25% discount while the other girl has no bill to pay. She is upset and worried as money is tight for her.

Is the council entitled to do this to DD? She had expected to pay 50% of the bill and the other 50% to be covered by her housemate's student exemption.

TheNoodlesIncident Fri 01-Mar-19 10:07:03

I have a lot of sympathy for your dd OP, in my first house I got the 75% council tax bill to pay by myself. My FT salary was £8100 pa before tax, so I didn't have a lot of cash floating round after paying all the bills I had to pay - the single person discount for council tax is the only bill that a reduction applies, so I had to find the costs of the mortgage, utilities, travel, etc myself. It's perfectly fair and I didn't expect it any other way, but it is very hard and a real shock to the system.

Who looks after the dog while the two occupants are out of the house? If there isn't anyone, I would want the student tenant to rethink the dog, as bored and lonely dogs are more likely to be destructive dogs. I would be so pissed off that she just moved the dog in without running the notion past your dd first, that's not on at all. It's a steep learning curve, isn't it...

MummytoCSJH Fri 01-Mar-19 10:06:45

I just wanted to add even though I think OPs DD should pay the council tax, she should also report the dog. It is unfair when your DD didn't agree to this and although you are a guarantor you should only be a guarantor for your DD not what the other girl does or damages. As others have said, it depends on the tenancies.

MummytoCSJH Fri 01-Mar-19 10:03:16

BackForGood, again can't tag sorry. My partner is not my son's biological father. My son is with his biological dad fortnightly weekends (would be more if not for distance) and my partner has been in his life for 3 years now. Not that I think that matters but just in case you wanted to know, we all get along well. As a student my income is significantly lower than my partners, so at the moment we are doing what's best for us. We share all normal bills, like gas, electric, water, rent and food bill 50/50 and that includes my son's use. We put money every month into joint accounts for bills, savings and extra expenses e.g. if we decide to eat out or go on holiday. Then out of our spare money in our own accounts we pay for our own things and bills and for me that includes my sons things, however my son's bio father buys around half of extras my son needs e.g. half of after school clubs and if he needs new school shoes halfway through the year and obviously pays for everything when he is there, every other weekend and half of all school holidays. This works for us all.

BoringPerson Fri 01-Mar-19 09:23:14

Blimey, I'm sorry you are getting so many snidey replies OP. I'd report the dog too.

I didn't know the situation with council tax and students until my kids were at Uni either.

One of my student kids moved in with a group friends where only one person was a non student. They wanted a big house and wanted to live together so the students subsidised the non student's council tax bill to some extent. I can't remember the numbers but it seemed a reasonable way of doing. I think the 5 non students chipped in £5-10 a month or something similar. Everything was discussed and agreed beforehand.
If you are a skint young 'professional' fresh out of uni then the council tax can represent a LOT of money.

Anyway, as you say, lesson learnt.

0rangeB0ttle Fri 01-Mar-19 09:21:48

Your DD is working, so she needs to pay the council tax, minus single discount. Every working person has to pay it.

averythinline Fri 01-Mar-19 09:20:43

Does the other woman have a guarantor as well ?
otherwise I think as the guarentor you will have to pay for dog damage .. as your DD should have told her not to bring the dog into the flat..

Maybe the estate agent can get it removed....

Dungeondragon15 Fri 01-Mar-19 09:12:37

So it seems only fair that either the non-students or the landlord should be paying it. (And if the LL pays you'd expect the rent to be higher because of that). Why should the existing student tenant end up paying more because someone new has moved in?

It's not fair for the non-student to be paying all of it either though as the more students in the house, the more bedrooms which means that it will very probably be in a higher band.

I lived in a house with non-students and a student wanted to move in and expected not to pay council tax. We said that he either paid it or he didn't move in because we didn't get a discount on the tax because he was a student and why should we pay more? Students may be told that they are excempt from paying but the tax depend on the size of the house. There is no discount for them being there if the other people are non-students.

safariboot Fri 01-Mar-19 00:13:23

Also, OP, is it individual tenancies or a joint tenancy? If it's joint, then I'll echo PP: check your guarantor agreement carefully, because you could well find yourself liable for any damage this unauthorised dog does. In a joint tenancy any eviction proceedings affect all tenants too, should the landlord go down that route.

Jon65 Thu 28-Feb-19 23:59:28

mkmo just NO, this is wrong.

safariboot Thu 28-Feb-19 23:53:35

I looked into this recently myself. If a house is all students then it's exempt from council tax, but if some non-students move in then the tax becomes payable.

So it seems only fair that either the non-students or the landlord should be paying it. (And if the LL pays you'd expect the rent to be higher because of that). Why should the existing student tenant end up paying more because someone new has moved in?

doofles Thu 28-Feb-19 22:43:58

I've seen this worked out brilliantly (imo) before by a couple in an identical situation. Here's what they did:

- The person who was a student said "if I was living with another student, there would be no council tax to pay at all, so the cost to me would be 0"
- The non student said "well if you weren't a student then we'd be splitting the bill 50-50, so I'd only be paying 50% of the bill instead of the 75% I'm paying now"

Therefore they came to a compromise and split the difference.

To replicate this here, it would look like this:

Your DD expected to be paying 50% of a full council tax bill. Instead, she's paying 75% (remember she gets the 25% discount for being a single person). Her housemate expected to be paying 0%. Splitting the difference would look like your daughter paying 62.5% and her housemate paying 12.5% and the remainder being covered by the single person discount.

To work out how much each person should pay, find the exact amount to pay (after the discount). Your DD would then pay 83% of this, and her housemate would pay 17%.

As a caveat, though, this was all agreed before moving in together. If they are further down the line that that and the student says she won't pay, I don't think she should be made to. It might be nice of her to contribute that small amount, but I don't think it can be held against her if she says no.

BackforGood Thu 28-Feb-19 22:17:59

We don't share our finances yet as we are not married and don't feel it's necessary. Every one is different though.

.... yet you have a child ? confused

WhiteDust Thu 28-Feb-19 21:17:24

And now you're in a huff so you're reporting the dog

If the student wants a tenancy by the book, he/she can't pick and choose.

MummytoCSJH Thu 28-Feb-19 19:18:39

Can't tag I'm afraid. However, I'm not sure what you are getting at. It is his bill, as much as we pay our own phone bills? I am exempt from the bill, and there's a reason for that - my student finance barely covers my bills. We split household bills 50/50, but as I wouldn't have to pay anything if we didn't live together, I don't pay anything towards the council tax. We don't share our finances yet as we are not married and don't feel it's necessary. Every one is different though.

Gth1234 Thu 28-Feb-19 18:49:23


"By the way I am a student and I live with my partner and 4 year old (who obviously is exempt). My partner pays the whole bill, as he should. It's his bill."

you what? It's his bill? That's not much of a partnership is it?

studentwithmould Thu 28-Feb-19 18:45:41

I think it's your daughter's responsibility to pay if not discussed previously, especially as she chose to live with a friend who's a student. BUT saying that I'm due to go into a graduate role in september after my master's degree, and my partner will go on to do a phd so we will be in the same position. However, we've decided to treat it as a household cost and to split the bill 75:25 as we're in a relationship and think it's fair to split bills.

Gth1234 Thu 28-Feb-19 18:44:09

The community charge that Mrs Thatcher predicated was much fairer. But then she was a visionary.

Except she didn't envision large left wing leaning families who prefer to have other people pay for their pleasures. So we ended up with council tax.

FlagranceDirect Thu 28-Feb-19 14:22:24

And now you're in a huff so you're reporting the dog

Quite rightly. OP is a guarantor to cover any damage caused. Dogs can cause a lot of damage. Being in a huff doesn't come into it.

I don't know if the daughter knew there was going to be a dog there, maybe she did and is OK with it. I certainly wouldn't like that sprung on me. And neither does OP. It's not what she signed up for and she has to make it clear she will not be responsible for damage caused by the dog. It's no good arguing the toss afterwards.

mkmo Thu 28-Feb-19 14:06:41

New laws in UK state she can leave giving 28 days notice even if her contract is 6 months. That's the way it is in Scotland and maybe for the rest of UK- may want to see in case she wants to leave early.

Idratherhaveacupoftea Thu 28-Feb-19 11:45:21

If she's on a low wage or is struggling then tell her to see if she can get help with the council tax. Phone the council and ask, it's worth a try.

Daisymay2 Thu 28-Feb-19 11:41:44

You are not being unreasonble about the dog.I have known LL give notice when tenants moved pets into a flat where no pets was specifically stated in the tenancy agreement . This was because the underlying lease excluded pets.
Your daughter needs to speak to her house mate about the dog and say it has to go- at the moment they are both flouting the terms of the lease. If no joy, then I think you might want to discuss the pet with the letting agency or landlord, and also write to the girl specifically stating that you have not guaranteed the costs of anything to do with damage or additional cleaning to do with the dog. I am not sure if this is legally binding but would give you evidence of trying to regularise the situation if it comes to a small claims court.
TBH this does not sound like a good fit for a house share and leaving at 6 months break point is probably the best bet unless the costs of another tenancy are greater than the "excess" council tax payment. Just be careful that it is not a case that you will be liable for the rent if the other girl stays without a replacement for your daughter.

LaFreaka Thu 28-Feb-19 11:39:18

If you were a student and your friend was on housing benefit why did they not get council tax benefit as well? - They were exempt I wasn't because I rented out the room to someone who was unemployed and not a student - thems the rules - I had to pay single person's rate - just as I would have done had I been working.

BlueSkiesLies Thu 28-Feb-19 11:29:09

Yup, that’s the cost for a single person. Students don’t pay. If your DD wanted to split Council Tax, she should choose to live with other working people. Welcome to the world of single working people.


Unless arranged in advance between them.

ManicLoki Thu 28-Feb-19 10:56:22

OP I don't think you're being petty about the dog at all. If I were a guarantor for a property where a dog wasn't allowed I'd be having words with the landlord too. The council tax issue is an expensive mistake which you've accepted, but the dog is another issue altogether and could be even more costly.

needthisthread Thu 28-Feb-19 10:30:50

If you were a student and your friend was on housing benefit why did they not get council tax benefit as well?

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