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Landlords to pay tenants Council Tax..it's worth reading on.

12th Sep 2016

Category: Opinion

Tagged: Student, Legislation, tax

A local council is currently consulting on a proposal to make student landlords pay business rates to make up for the shortfall in loss of council tax payments from tenants. We receive an update from an Agent in Liverpool which makes very interesting reading.

This is an initiative by Liverpool council but will have an impact nationwide.  You can guarantee that all councils with private off campus university accommodations will be keeping a close eye on the outcome.  If successful expect it to be introduced nationwide.  

Its a bit of a read - the TL;DR version is the government is phasing out the cover they provide to councils for student accommodation council tax, which will leave a large black hole in the budget for councils. 

Liverpool council will be asking permission of the government to charge business rates to student landlords.  

Dear All,

The following resolution is being proposed at the next meeting of Liverpool City Council on Wednesday 14 September. In view of it's potential impact on the student letting market we thought it would be of interest to you.

14.

Student Landlords and the City's Tax Base by Councillors Laura Robertson-Collins and Nick Small Council notes that:

Student landlords do not pay for the local public services their tenants use as student accommodation is currently exempt from business rates and student households are exempt from council tax.

Student landlords have tenants who generate much need of local authority-funded public services, eg extra street cleansing, waste management, and environmental health demands (noise abatement and poor housing conditions).

Councils currently effectively receive funding to cover the cost of these services through the Revenue Support Grant (RSG), but the Government’s intention is to phase out the RSG by 2020.

Council believes that:

•             Students are a very welcome part of our community and our local economy, but live in concentrated areas of the city in densely populated conditions.  This has a big impact on services in these parts of the city.

•             Student households should continue to be exempt from council tax, as students are on low (and loaned) incomes.

•             Student landlords are profit –making businesses, and should pay properly for the demands their tenants make on public services.

Council resolves to ask the Mayor to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Local Government Association and the Liverpool MPs to request that councils should be given powers to bring student landlords within the scope of business rates in the same way that hotels, self-catering and holiday lets are within the scope of business rates.

You can view the full Council agenda at http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=305&MID=15664" class="redactor-linkify-object">https://www.google.com/url?hl=...

I am sure you will understand that as this is not a matter that has anyhting to do with Liverpool Student Homes we will not be able to answer any questions in relation to the proposal. We will however attempt to keep you informed of the progress of this matter.

Regards,

Liverpool Student Homes.

We will keep you posted on any further developments as and when we receive them.

Tom Kite

Comfort Partner

An experienced Nottingham Property Specialist and a Founding Partner of Comfort Lettings.

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