Students and Sharers living with flat mates in an HMO - Bailiffs

They are not liable for paying council tax. The landlord is.


Regulation 2 of the Council Tax (Liability for Owners) Regulations 1992 states;

The following are the classes of chargeable dwellings prescribed for the purposes of section 8(1) of the Act–

Class C a dwelling inhabited by persons who do not constitute a single household, each of whom either–

(a)is a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling; or

(b)has a licence to occupy but is not liable (whether alone or jointly with other persons) to pay rent or a licence fee in respect of the dwelling as a whole.



An HMO is a property with tenants renting individual rooms and share common areas within the property.

A definitive guide to who is liable for councils tax on property is available under section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

The regulations governing the operation of HMO's are the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.

If you are a sharer in an HMO and you receive a bailiff then you can use the template letter below to stop enforcement action and reclaim any council tax already paid.



You can ask the council to quash the liability order under section 82 of the Local Government Act 2003, which states;


82Quashing of liability orders

In Schedule 4 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (enforcement), after paragraph 12 there is inserted—
“Quashing of liability orders

12ARegulations under paragraph 1(1) above may provide—

(a)that, where on an application by the authority concerned a magistrates' court is satisfied that a liability order should not have been made, it shall quash the order;

(b)that, where on an application to a magistrates' court for the quashing of a liability order, the court is satisfied that, had the original application been for a liability order in respect of a lesser sum payable, such an order could properly have been made, it shall substitute a liability order in respect of the aggregate of—

(i)that lesser sum, and

(ii)any sum included in the quashed order in respect of the costs incurred in obtaining it.”

Write to the council