SMI & Non Dep

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    We have a housing benefit claim from a lady who is SMI for council tax purposes. Her daughter is now 18 and still currently living at home. Child benefit has stopped so the daughter is a non-dependant on her mother’s housing benefit claim. She is planning to go to uni next year, and currently starting a part time job for Xmas.
    Our council tax team want to open a ctax account in the daughter’s sole name with 25% SMI discount for her mother. The mother is the tenant of the property, not the daughter.
    It seems the daughter will now have to claim council tax benefit in her own name, whilst being a non dependant on her mother’s HB claim. Also seems unfair that she will be liable for 75% of the council tax. If her mother was liable for 100%, CTB could be awarded. She is on DLA and would probably get maximum CTB, with no non dep charge.
    Should the daughter really be made liable, ctax tell us the mother can’t be liable as SMI.


    Resident Tenants are higher up the hierarchy of responsibility than residents, so the mother should remain liable.

    Julian Hobson

    The mum is only disregarded for the purposes of discount (establishing how much is payable). She is still a resident.

    If she were not SMI the discount would not apply and the presence of daughter would mean the charge was 100% with mum liable.

    The fact mum is SMI means there is a 25% discount (in other words only the daughters presence is taken into account)

    Mum is still a resident for the puposes of liability and so is liable because she is higher up the hierarchy. The position would be different if they were joint tenants, if that were the case they would both be at the same point on the hierarchy and daughter would be liable under s6 (4)(a) of the act.

    Your CTAX people have totally misunderstood the ralationship between s6 (3) and (4) of the 1992 act.

    This is basic stuff and they should be ashamed.

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