Council Tax liability during a use and occupation period by nondep

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    Dear all

    Would appreciate guidance on the following-

    Council Tenant incurs prison sentence the day after her own son is released from prison and moves into her household, as a non-dep

    Non-dep son then applies for use and occupation of tenancy during mothers absence and HB is payable in accordance with reg 8(1)(c)(ii).

    However, I want to understand if CTB/CTAX should be applied over the same period for the non-dep, as I think I might have confused myself with the hierarchy and who should be liable when a tenant or owner is not resident and in prison.

    Basically, I have took into consideration that residency implies a degree of permancey and guidance through the CPAG book states-temporary absence does not necessarily make a person resident there; unless it is their sole residence for that period. So I am now thinking well being in prison is that persons sole residence for that period, they don’t have much of a choice really.

    Now for the daft question; if we can hold someone, who is not the tenant liable for rental payments and therefore award them HB, Why can’t we make this same person also jointly liable for CTAX and therefore award them CTB??

    Many thanks for any responses, advice, etc.

    Kind regards



    I presume the dwelling was previously entitled to a Class D exemption- dwellings left empty by prisoners. This would of course cease once the son moved into the property, with the council tax liability rules kicking in.

    These are set out in Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and are based on a hierarchy of liability, i.e. the liable person (or persons) is whoever comes into the first category, which applies.

    The hierarchy of liability to council tax is that a person is liable if:

    1. he is a resident of the dwelling and has a freehold interest in the whole or any part of it;
    2. he is such a resident and has a leasehold interest in the whole or any part of the dwelling which is not inferior to another such interest held by another such resident;
    3. he is both such a resident and a statutory or secure tenant of the whole or any part of the dwelling;
    4. he is such a resident and has a contractual licence to occupy the whole or any part of the dwelling;
    5. he is such a resident; or
    6. he is the owner of the dwelling.

    In my opinion, the son has his main residence in the dwelling and is therefore “a resident” (5), whilst the mother, who’s main place of residence is the prison, is the “non-resident owner” * (6). As such, I think, the son would be liable, with a 25% SPD

    * For the purposes of the above hierarchy, an “owner” in relation to any dwelling is a person who has a material interest in the whole or any part of the dwelling. A “material interest” can further be defined as a freehold interest or a leasehold interest, which is granted for a term of six months or more.


    Thanks Condor for your response


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