Islington Council has closed a loophole which had led to thousands of landlords in the borough not paying tax over the summer period.
The London borough of Islington has taken action against dishonest landlords in the area who had rented out student accommodation over the summer holidays without paying the correct level of council tax. Their refusal to disclose the type of tenant they were letting to meant that many landlords in the borough managed to evade paying the appropriate council tax. This was done by claiming that they were continuing to let to students, rather than standard tenants.
In order to protect against this, landlords will now have to supply the council with the tenancy and student occupancy details for each property they let. They will have to do this for each week of the year, including the summer months. This means that buy to let property investors will be charged council tax for every time that the flats are occupied by non student tenants.
Islington is home to over 4,000 student flats, making the measure particularly important for the council, as just a quarter of these student homes being let to normal tenants over the summer months would generate a extra total of £121,250 for the council’s funds.
Islington Council’s executive member for finance, performance and community safety, Councillor Andy Hull, commented on the changes: ‘At a time when Islington faces ongoing cuts to its budgets from central Government, it isn’t fair that landlords have effectively been getting a tax break on renting their flats out over the summer. Closing this loophole means that the correct levels of council tax are collected, which is fairer for all our residents and helps to pay for local services in Islington and London.’