To me this is quite an easy one but to some people, its a bit muddy.
I read an interesting article recently in the excellent Nearly Legal blog on the joys of housing law. Don’t immediately switch off because I mentioned the law but read on to find out a little more about whose responsibility it is to pay the council tax.
In the eyes of the council and housing law; the owner or tenant is responsible for the council tax. In a HMO where you are renting rooms on an all-inclusive basis to your sharers, it is YOUR responsibility to pay the council tax.
If you are renting a HMO to students where they generally pay most of the bills – it is their responsibility to pay the council tax – except as students, they are one of the few exempt people to not have to pay the council tax.
In the blog posted on Nearly Legal, a tenant rented a property, claimed never to have moved in, then sub-let the property to four people (making it a HMO) but did not pay the council tax. He claimed his tenancy ended after six months and that he had never lived there.
These two points are irrelavent because a tenancy automatically converts to a periodic tenancy after six months unless notice is given and it is the responsibility of the owner or the tenant to pay the council tax.
As this tenant was renting from the landlord, the responsibility passed over to the tenant even if he was not living there. There were several other extenuating circumstances which the article goes into but it is worth remembering that you, as the landlord are responsible for paying the council tax.