Unusual CTB situation

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    John Boxall

    I am looking at a ‘historic’ HB & CTB claim, which we have never made a decision on.

    Our claimant is interested mostly in the CTB side of things (I hope!)

    What happened is………..

    Claimant is a former publican, now on Guarantee Credit

    When the business closes he rents a property. In addition to him, his former staff are also living there as sub tenants – There liability is to his company.

    He is liable for Council Tax as the tenant & also as the property is in effect a HMO for Council Tax purposes. He also claimed HB, providing rent evidence from his company. I do, however have a copy of his tenancy agreement for the whole property.

    Now, whats the position firstly with his CTAX liability. Can we pay CTB, or does that fact that in effect he’s liable as the property’s an HMO affect his entitlement?

    Then I have to look at the rent liability, any thoughts? He seems to have sub let to his company then created an agreement between himself & his company, so is it contrived or do we go back to the agreement between him & the landlord?


    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield


    So … Claimant “A” rents the entire building from A N other – the landlord

    A sublets to his own company, “B”. “B” in turn sublets individually back to A and to C, D, E etc the former staff. The separate subtenancies between [A, C, D & E] and B make the house an HMO for Council Tax purposes, with B liable as the landlord. The fact that A is also a superior landlord over B does not change that because the “owner” for Class C owner’s liability purposes is B.

    Therefore it seems to me that A is not personally liable for council Tax as either a resident or an HMO owner, in which case he should not get CTB.

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