Daughter exempt for council tax but flat mate isn't?

(32 Posts)
MurielWoods Sun 17-May-15 12:35:46

DD about to move in to flat, sharing with one other. Her housemate has just graduated and now works full-time (DD just about to finish year 1 as an undergraduate).

She has had confirmation that she will be exempt from council tax and her flat mate gets a reduction but he still think she should chip in and contribute a bit towards his bill.

We don't think that this is fair but is right?

This is all a bit new to us!

OP’s posts: |
TwilightSparkle Sun 17-May-15 12:38:32

No he should pay the council tax, your DD isn't responsible for it.

CocoaBeans Sun 17-May-15 12:39:29

It's his responsibility and not your DD's.

WhyBeHappyWhenYouCouldBeNormal Sun 17-May-15 12:40:09

a while ago council tax used to be a household responsibility but it was changed to individual responsibility a few years back - so your DD should not pay the council tax, it is not her responsibility.

bittapitta Sun 17-May-15 12:41:44

Up to them really - if I was a ft exempt student I wouldn't live with any non-students or you end up with situations like this. The flatmate will only get a 25% reduction on council tax for being considered a single resident (student dd exempt). Your dd should not pay or agree to split the cost as she is fully exempt.

LotusLight Sun 17-May-15 15:22:25

I agree.
Or she could look elsewhere and just share with students which is what all my 3 older children did at university.
Even worse for me as single mother - get no 25% discount because I am kind enough to house student age new graduate child!

mumeeee Sun 17-May-15 18:06:45

He should pay the council tax it is his responsibility not hers. Your DD is fully exempt.


Millymollymama Sun 17-May-15 22:50:22

Is it his bill, or the bill for the accommodation? Where my DDs live, all the occupants have to be exempt, ie everyone has to be a student, to have the flat exempt from council tax. It is clearly stated on the council's website. Therefore whether an individual is exempt is besides the point in the borough. Parents would not be exempt from council tax if the student lived at home. I assume the flatmate is her boyfriend but the charge you describe is different from the borough where my DDs live because he would not get single occupancy reduction, on the basis that he is not a single occupant.

MurielWoods Mon 18-May-15 20:07:51

Hi Millie, no this isn't her boyfriend. He flat shared previously with another person and as neither of them were in full time ed anymore, the full rate of council tax was due and they split it 50/50

The other flat mate moved out and now DD has moved in, she's in full time ed and so is exempt.

He is saying that despite this she should still contribute.

We don't think that she should have to.

The flat mate was responsible for advertising the vacancy himself and at no point did he insist that a non-student apply. He knew DD was a student but still approved her for the flat.

OP’s posts: |
PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Mon 18-May-15 20:11:48

She isn't exempt exactly, there is a discount because she is a FT student. If her council have her name on the bill they could technically pursue her for the full amount if they wanted to. Seems unfair of her flat mate though.

If all th people in a property are FT students, then it is exempt.

Littlef00t Mon 18-May-15 20:13:12

It's up to her as she isn't liable. For flat mate to pay the same as before, she would need to pay 25% of the full cost. As it's good will to him and she is after all a student perhaps 10% would be enough to ensure a friendly relationship. She does have to live there...

ItsRainingInBaltimore Mon 18-May-15 20:15:36

MY Ds had this situation. The trouble is, if they are in a flat share situation you would normally expect the bills to be split 50:50 but with council tax the person who is exempt is (quite rightly) exempt and the person as soon as their is one person in the household who must pay then the whole bill kicks in, with a 25% discount for a 'single' occupant.

So they end up paying 75% of the whole bill, which seems massively unfair on the working person who just happens to share with an exempt person, but I don't know that there is a way around it exempt to get a different flatmate.

bittapitta Mon 18-May-15 20:15:49

Princess that's simply not true. Might have been true in the past but definitely not true. She is "invisible" for council tax purposes.

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Mon 18-May-15 20:34:50

I guess my info is out of date then bitta. either way, unfair of the flat mate to ask I think.

MurielWoods Mon 18-May-15 21:05:38

She just assumed she would be exempt. Flat mate said nothing about it until deposit paid and tenancy agreement signed.

She wants to make him a goodwill gesture of some kind (she bakes a lot of cakes grin) but feels that the CT issue should have been mentioned before she committed to the tenancy.

OP’s posts: |
Nervo Mon 18-May-15 21:16:33

Tricky situation. He will be paying an extra 25% because he is sharing with a student.

It really should have been discussed and agreed prior to signing the tenancy agreement.

I feel for both parties.

Millymollymama Mon 18-May-15 22:59:43

Maybe they could split the difference? 12.5% extra each? I cannot see why she is not sharing with other students to get the full discount. It is difficult but she could have checked beforehand. Why was it down to everyone else to tell her?

MurielWoods Tue 19-May-15 08:02:09

Tell her what Milly? She's exempt from paying it and has always known this.

I think the onus was on the flat mate to have said that he expected her to make a contribution before agreeing to flat share with her. He knew she was a FT student so must have known that there might be implications for him.

OP’s posts: |
ItsRainingInBaltimore Tue 19-May-15 08:05:58

It is a bit of a loophole in this system and it assumes that exempt people only ever live with other exempt people. Technically the OP's DD shouldn't have to pay anything or feel honour bound to do so, but it is a bit rough on her poor flat mate who would have naively budgeted for splitting the CT 50:50. It's a shame it wasn't flagged up earlier.

ZuzuBailey Tue 19-May-15 08:10:50

My DD was in this situation as a student sharing with someone who was employed.

DD paid no CT, that was flatmate's responsibility UNTIL said flatmate did a runner leaving us DD to pay all the rent and all the CT

Council would not budge on this and until DD could find another flat with students, the responsibility to pay was on us her.

sanfairyanne Tue 19-May-15 08:17:04

ask the council

i would understand it to be a joint bill that everyone living there is liable for. if she had wanted the exemption, she needed to live with other exempt people.

sanfairyanne Tue 19-May-15 08:52:16


the nus advice looks like she is exempt personally unless it is her own house and she is subletting? there is a 25% reduction though

how secure is her tenancy?.will he look for another flatmate do you think? sad

Millymollymama Tue 19-May-15 17:52:15

If you move into a non student flat your personal exemption becomes a problem, OP. She could have asked the question about this before she moved in rather than making an assumption that her flatmate would cough up the 75%!! Communication between both parties was important. Maybe he will go and find another flat that he can afford if she digs in.

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Tue 19-May-15 20:09:45

I always understood that you could be liable if your flat mate did a runner (I worked in this field years ago ) but I was corrected up thread and a quick Google shows that students should be exempt for "joint and several liability" meaning they are invisible for CT purposes.

WhyBeHappyWhenYouCouldBeNormal Wed 20-May-15 08:58:24

Speak to the local council - they will tell you that DD is personally exempt, and so not liable. DD does not have to pay a penny, as long as she gets a certificate from her college to prove her exemption to the council etc.

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