Need advice about council tax

I live in a private rental, it’s a periodic tenancy. The flat is in a basement in an old house, and the landlord lives there. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved in, but at that time I was desperate to find a place and time was tight, I needed to move. I regret the decision for a few reasons.
I signed the contract and it said that the landlord was responsible for the council tax and that it was included in the rent every month. I didn’t think much of it, as the flat basically is in the landlord’s house, so it made sense.
I found out that my address is not registered with royal mail and that is when my landlord said that he didn’t register it so I wouldn’t have to pay council tax, and that it was better for me (???) this way. They put me in an impossible situation as the rent was already quite high and I only took the place because I thought the price included all the bills.The only problem is that I didn’t do anything about it, I didn’t notify the council because I didn’t want to pay a £100 more per month. Can I get into trouble for this? I feel like they lied to me intentionally. I also didn’t want to argue with them because I just got out from a terrible tenancy and wanted peace and quiet. It’s been over a year, now I am planning to move out and I am looking for a new place.
Who is responsible for the council tax in this case? Is it possible that they didn’t even notify the council that they have a flat in their basement? I am their first tenant, as far as I know. I have my own boiler, bathroom, kitchen, it’s basically a separate flat with my own front door but it’s in their house.
They pay all the bills, I have never seen one since I’ve moved in. It’s stated in the contract that I pay a fix amount and they’re paying all the bills including council tax.
Any advice?
Thank you


I had a similar scenario to yourself in a studio apartment i just moved out of last month that we moved into in August 2019. When we moved in (it was myself and my partner) we were told all the bills were included with the rent of the property but were not told explicitly if the council tax was included. We assumed it wasn’t as the apartment was integrated into a building that also offered the rooms as serviced apartments so the building was a mix of the two. We attempted to put in an application with the council several times to no avail and was told that our apartment number was not registered (we couldn’t find our apartment number on the royal mail address checker either and still isn’t registered to this day) and we would need to register it with the council and once it’s registered send it over to the evaluation office once its registered as a newbuild (i suspected our studio was a serviced apartment and the landlord converted it into a residential apartment) and we will then be assigned a council tax band.
A few months down the line and multiple calls to the evaluation office and the council we were getting no where so i gave up. To this day we haven’t paid any council tax and don’t know if it was included in the rent or not (i suspect not). I imagine there was something strange going on with the building and the landlord had not declared it as residential to the council. It sounds like a very similar situation to you as i imagine your landlord has not declared his basement as a flat. I wouldn’t worry too much about it as it’s not your fault you were misled by your landlord. It’s been a year now and i haven’t been chased once from the council about the council tax (they’re usually very on it when they know you haven’t paid) so i suspect you will be fine especially if its stated in the contract your landlord is liable to pay for it - not your fault if he isn’t!

dont worry you have a contract ,keep hold of it for 6 years, even if you move

Thank you, it was very helpful.

Thanks, I will definitely keep it. They seemed very genuine people when I moved in. Well, they were not entirely honest about a few other things either. I guess, one cannot be too careful these days.

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Tenants are responsible for registering for and paying their council tax. I always notify my local council of new tenants so they can get the process started. Obviously very difficult if your home is not recognised as a separate property. If the council comes after you, you will need to be able to prove that your rent included council tax and that the landlord had taken responsibility for paying it. If it isn’t in writing and dating back to the beginning of your tenancy, you will be liable and if they are anything like my local council, they will hunt you down.

Thank you, luckily I have a written contract and it clearly stated that it was included in the rent. I don’t like unclear and messy situations like this, especially if I am not the one who created it.
The flat was advertised like this as well. I wouldn’t have taken the flat if I knew that it was untrue, as the price would’ve been too high if I had to pay council tax on top of everything. I still don’t know whether it was intentional on their part or just negligence. If it was the latter then it’s hard to imagine that someone would make such a mistake both in the advertisement and in the contract too…

stop worrying about it, you have a contract

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