CTB – Temporary Absence

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    liz k

    Any thoughts on how to deal with a dual CTB liability in the following senario.

    A tenant moves out of a property on a temporary basis on the grounds of fear of violence, there is always an intention to return and all other conditions are satified under HB Reg 7 (6)(a) so HB can be paid on two homes.

    Tenant then take on another short-term tenancy at a temporary address and HB paid on both properties – however CTB as I understand the legislation can only be paid on one address.

    In this senario there is a ctax liability on two addresses but CTB can only be paid on one.
    Am I missing something obvious or can anyone offer any advise or thoughts?

    david farrar

    Your Council Tax department should only hold her as liable at the address which is her [b:56419f44fd]sole or main[/b:56419f44fd] residence. The tenant should not be held liable at both addresses.


    I think I disagree with david farrar.
    Unless the property, which is not her main residence, is vacant & unfurnished, there will still be a liability for council tax, albeit at a reduced rate. The discount varies from LA to LA, the LGA 2003 gave the right for LA’s to reduce the discount from 50%.

    There is also the question of which is the main residence – as this is a temporary absence, I think that the dwelling she has left is still the main residence.


    These are surely CT billing decisions. She can only be liable as the resident of one property – that’s the one she gets CTB for. She might also be liable as the absent owner of the empty one – but you cannot get CTB for owner’s liability.

    For CTB purposes, you don’t need to worry whether the billing decision is correct. Just award CTB for the residential tax she is being asked to pay, wherever that may be.

    Incidentally, if you are for some reason charging residential tax on two dwellings, I see nothing in the Conts and Bens Act that would prevent the claimant from getting CTB for both. Section 131(3)(a) requires the claimant to be liable for tax in a dwelling of which s/he is a resident, rather like the main condition of HB entitlement (liable for rent on dwelling occupied as home). In the HB Regs it is considered necessary for Regulations to say that a person is treated only as occupying the normal home and no other [Reg 7(1)] subject to five prescribed exceptions. The CTB Regs do not restrict residence in the same way, so if the billing authority thinks the claimant is resident in two dwellings then s/he satisfies the CTB condition for both of them.

    david farrar

    I agree with Peter that this is simply a CT liability issue.

    David, I don’t understand why the CT dept is holding the tenant as liable at whichever property is not their main residence. If the property is not anyone’s sole or main residence, surely the liability would fall back to the owner?

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