Council Tax liability
Where there is a surviving person who is a freeholder or leaseholder of the property, or there is someone who is resident in the property, then the situation is relatively straightforward and s6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 will easily answer the question. Where there is no surviving freeholder/leaseholder, or resident, then the situation becomes more complicated.
Is a beneficiary liable for Council Tax ?
A recent Valuation Tribunal case (March 2019) considered the situation where a Local Authority argued a party was liable under s6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 by virtue of being a beneficiary of the property under a will. The panel, having taken consideration of the wording of s6, determined that a beneficial interest was not a legal interest for the purposes of the legislation and the party in question did not hold a relevant legal interest until probate was granted. This outcome of this case followed a similar 2018 decision by the Valuation Tribunal President in a case where there was not will.
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax agents and experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.