Living in caravan in garden but claiming CTB on house

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    Clare Easson

    We have recently discovered that a claimant has been living in a caravan in his garden, but since November 2002 he has been receiving CTB on the house.

    When the claimant originally applied for benefit he told us he moved into the house in November 2002 but at a recent review he has told us that he never lived in the house because it was in poor condition.

    The Assessor will not be making an entry in the Valuation List for the caravan as its situated in the garden. They are therefore treating the caravan as part of the property.

    I think the CTB should be cancelled right back to November 2002 as the claimant has never actually occupied the property, but I would just like a second opinion on this please? Thanks


    Would you not consider asking your CT office to amend liability to a non – residential one on which there would be no CTB entitlement? Also would this not make any CTB OP technical?

    Just my thoughts.


    I don’t think there is a problem paying CTB.

    If you start at the top of the legal tree with s131 of the Conts and Bens Act, it says that a person is entitled to CTB if they are liable to pay tax for a dwelling of which they are resident, there is an appropriate maximum CTB, and they satisfy the means test. “Appropriate maximum CTB” is defined in Reg 57 as being 100% of the tax for the “dwelling”, and “dwelling” is defined in both CTB Reg 2 and in s131(11) of the Conts and Bens Act as meaning the same the same thing it means for billing purposes.

    There is no doubt that your claimant is liable as a resident of the dwelling he is being charged for. Your colleagues who issue Council tax bills have decided that the whole plot is one dwelling and your claimant is liable to pay Council Tax because he is resident on the plot. He is not absent from the “dwelling” thus defined, so Reg 8 doesn’t apply.

    He is entitled to CTB in my view.


    I agree with Peter that you should pay.

    Under council tax law the “dwelling” for which he is liable includes the house, caravan, garden shed, garage, coal cellar, gazebo, folly, underground nuclear bunker and anything else within the curtilage.

    Which bit of the dwelling the claimant chooses to sleep in is irrelevant. He occupies the dwelling.

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