Shropshire Council

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Frequently asked questions

Use the links on this page to find out more about council tax in Shropshire.

What happens if I don't pay my council tax?

If you fail to pay your instalments by the due date given on your bill, recovery action will commence. All instalment payers will be subject to the same recovery procedures in accordance with the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations.

The following action is taken:

  • A reminder/final notice will be issued approximately 14 days after your instalment becomes due.
  • Failure to comply with a reminder/final notice will lead to the issue of a summons by the magistrates court.

We apply to the court for a liability order which allows us to:

  • Ask your employer to deduct an amount from your earnings.
  • Use external enforcement agents.
  • Ask the Department for Work and Pensions to make payments direct to us if you're in receipt of income support/jobseekers allowance/employment support allowance

In certain cases we can register outstanding council tax as a charge on your property (like a mortgage).

We can also instigate bankruptcy proceedings.

Who is responsible for paying council tax?

To find out who has to pay council tax on your home, read the following list. As soon as you reach a description that applies to one or more people in your home, that is the person "liable" and responsible for paying the bill. The spouse or partner of a liable person may also be held jointly liable.

  • A resident freeholder
  • A resident leaseholder
  • A resident tenant
  • A resident licensee
  • A resident
  • The owner (unoccupied property)

A resident is a person of 18 years or over who occupies the dwelling as their only or main home.

Landlord/tenant liability

For council tax, where a property is no-one’s main residence, it's the owner of the property who becomes responsible for council tax.

For the purposes of council tax, the Local Government Finance Act 1992 defines the meaning of ‘owner’ as:

An owner in relation to any dwelling is a person who satisfies the following conditions:

a) That they have a material interest in the whole or any part of the dwelling; and

b) That at least part of the dwelling (or as the case may be the part concerned) is not subject to a material interest inferior to their interest.

It goes on further to explain the term ‘material interest’ as: "A freehold interest, or a leasehold interest which was granted for a term of six months or more."

Where a weekly or monthly tenancy (or a tenancy subject to notice of less than six months) the immediate landlord is the ‘owner’ for council tax purposes and liable for council tax when the property is no-one’s main residence. Whereas if there is a six-month (or greater) shorthold assured tenancy the tenant will remain liable for council tax until this particular tenancy period expires.

Once the initial six month (or greater) shorthold assured tenancy has expired the landlord and tenant have three options:

  • They can agree a further shorthold tenancy for an agreed period of time.
  • The landlord can seek a new tenant.
  • They can move to a periodic or rolling tenancy agreement. 

Where an assured shorthold tenancy continues as a statutory periodic tenancy the landlord becomes liable for council tax for any period that the property becomes no-one’s main residence until the tenancy ends. This is irrespective of whether the tenant has to give a notice period, or indeed handed the keys back.

In some cases where the tenancy continues as a contractual tenancy and the tenancy agreement facilitates this, we'll require a copy of the tenancy agreement before correct liability can be determined.

Further information regarding the Local Government Finance Act 1992 can be obtained from the legislation.gov.uk website.

Owner liability

The first type of owner liability applies where a dwelling is no-ones' sole or main residence, usually an empty property.

Although this type of liability also arises in the case of second homes or holiday homes, it also applies to occupied dwellings where the sole or all occupiers are under 18 years of age, or where all occupiers are disregarded for example care homes. None of them are classed as resident and liability therefore lies with the owner.

Classes of owner liability

  • Class A - a residential care home, (mental) nursing home or hostel.
  • Class B - a dwelling inhabited by religious communities, for example monks and nuns.
  • Class C - a dwelling inhabited by numerous tenants or licensees. This is usually referred to as a house in multiple occupation.
  • Class D - a dwelling inhabited by resident staff employed for domestic services that is occasionally occupied by the employer.
  • Class E - a dwelling inhabited by a minister of any religion in order to perform their duties of office.
  • Class F - a dwelling provided to an asylum seeker or under section 95 of the Immigration Asylum Act 1999.

Joint and several liability

Payment can be sought from anyone who is jointly and severally liable.

Any persons on the same level within the hierarchy of liability are jointly and severally liable for the council tax on a dwelling.

Severely mentally impaired persons who are joint owners are not liable if another person is resident in the dwelling.

Fair processing notice

We're required under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise.

Council tax data will be provided to the Audit Commission for NFI and will be used for cross-authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud.

Further information is available in our privacy policy.

Where can I get independent advice and support?

The Citizens Advice Bureau 

Citizens Advice offers free, independent, confidential and impartial debt advice through their webchat service.

Step Change debt charity

Step Change helps change the lives of thousands of people every week. Their expert advice is impartial and personalised to each individual situation. Call 0800 138 1111.

Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust

A telephone based specialist advice service for anyone living in England and Wales. Call 0300 456 2726.

National Debtline

National Debtline has helped millions of people with their debts. They’ll talk you through options and give clear advice on how to take back control. Call 0808 808 4000.

Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Advice Foundation is a national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about debt. Call 0800 043 4050.

Payplan

Payplan provides the debt advice and support to enable you to take charge of your finances and focus on living again. Call 0800 280 2816.

Business Debtline

Advice for businesses on debt management. Call 0800 197 6026.

How can I nominate someone else to act on my behalf?

This is known as "authority to discuss".

If you would like to nominate another person to contact us or liaise with us about your council tax account, you can do this by completing and returning the Authority to Discuss form.

You should return the completed and signed form to the revenues team, our email address and postal address are at the bottom of this page

If you've run into financial difficulties, or are worried about debt and paying your bills, or just need some advice and support, there are a number of organisations who offer free help and impartial advice. All of the services below are free, confidential and hold a standard accredited by the Money Advice Service.

How do you use my data?

Who we are?

Shropshire Council is the local government authority for Shropshire. Our address is: Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND. You can contact our Data Protection Officer on: 01743 252774 or by email at: information.request@shropshire.gov.uk

How do we collect information from you?

We collect information from you when you visit the Shropshire Council website also when you contact us in writing, speak to us on the phone, by email or any other type of electronic communication, or talk to us face to face.

What types of information do we collect from you?

We collect different categories of information about you, depending on the service you want from us and/or the reason why we need to process information relating to you. This could be personal information (for example your name and address), or other more sensitive data that we would only collect and use in very particular circumstances that are set out in law.

Details of information obtained from third parties?

  • Information from landlords
  • Information from DWP
  • Information from Valuation Office Agency
  • The Council’s Enforcement Agents
  • Information from Valuation Tribunal Service

How is your information used?

We may use your information to:

  • Fulfil our legal obligations to process data under the following primary legislation, and associated regulations
    • Local Government Finance Act 1988
    • Local Government Finance Act 1992
    • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
    • Social Security Administration Act 1992

Information may be used:

  • To assess your entitlement to housing benefit
  • To assess your entitlement for council tax support
  • To assess your request to discretionary housing payment
  • To establish your council tax liability
  • To establish your liability for business rates
  • To assess your entitlement to council tax discounts or exemptions
  • To assess your entitlement to business rates reliefs or exemptions
  • Recovery of council tax, business rates or housing benefit overpayment
  • To process payments
  • To notify you of any changes to Council Tax, Business Rates or Housing Benefit that may affect you

Research and statistics

Anonymised and pseudonymised data may be used for research & statistical purposes. Any data collected may be used for research and statistical purposes that are relevant and compatible with the purpose that the data was collected for.

Who has access to your information?

We may share your information with the following third parties for the reasons detailed

  • National Fraud Initiative to assist in the detection and prevention of fraud
  • Valuation Office Agency for collection local taxation
  • Department of Work and Pensions for administration of benefits and detection and prevention of fraud
  • Office of National Statistics for statistical purpose
  • Enforcement Agents for the collection of debt
  • Any other disclosure required by law including any other bodies responsible for detecting or preventing fraud or auditing or administering public funds
  • The Magistrates and other courts
  • The Valuation Tribunal Service for appeals

We will not sell or rent your information to third parties. We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

What are your rights in relation the personal data we process?

Access – you can request copies of any of your personal information that is held by the Council.

Rectification – you can ask us to correct any incorrect information.

Deletion – you can ask us to delete your personal information. The Council can refuse to delete information if we have a lawful reason to keep this.

Portability – you can ask us to transfer your personal data to different services or to you in some circumstances.

Right to object or restrict processing – you have the right to object to how your data is being used and how it is going to be used in the future.

Right to prevent automatic decisions – you have the right to challenge a decision that affects you that has been made automatically without human intervention, for example an online form with an instant decision.

How long will we keep your information for?

We keep and dispose of all records in line with our corporate retention schedule. We will comply with Data Protection legislation in regards to how long we keep your data.

What security precautions in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of your information?

We are strongly committed to data security and will take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect your personal information from unauthorised access, loss, misuse, alteration or corruption. We have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard the information you provide to us. However, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us. We recommend that you take every precaution to protect your personal information.

Keeping your data up to date

We want to ensure any information we hold is accurate. You can help us by promptly informing us of any changes to the information we hold about you.

Details of any automated decision processes

N/A

Under 13

If you are accessing online services and are under the age of 13‚ please get your parent/guardian's permission beforehand whenever you provide us with personal information.

Cookies & IP addresses

What are cookies and why are they used?

Cookies are small text files which identify your computer to our servers. They are used to improve the user experience. View what cookies we use and how you can manage them at https://shropshire.gov.uk/website-information/use-of-cookies/

Complaints

If you would like to make a complaint regarding the use of your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer as follows:

Information Governance
Shropshire Council
Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
SY2 6ND

Phone: 01743 252774
Email: information.request@shropshire.gov.uk

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 {local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk