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Council Tax – Extended Families Living In One House

Comment 15th August 2010

Extended families who decide to live in one house are required to pay TWO lots of Council Tax if their situation involves a second kitchen, and it would seem, and cloakroom with a shower cubicle on the ground floor when their is already a bathroom on the first floor.

Our situation reveals the very unjust nature of the regulations, or the interpretation and enforcement of them.  They seem to be used in order to generate addition revenue from extended families, rather than from landlords who subdivide a house and rent them out to tenants.

There is no physical division of our property, and because of the open aspect of the house there is no privacy for any of the generations.  As we are one extended family living together in a house this is fully acceptable to us.

We are an extended family, consisting of two grandparents, their daughter, and 2 grandsons.  The grandparents and daughter bought the property together in 2004, and are therefore joint owners, rather than one or the other being a tenant.  The grandparents own two thirds of the property and the daughter owns one third.

 

  • The grandparents occupy, nominally, the ground floor for various reasons, e.g.
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  • Their ages.
  • There are only two of them.
  • The grandmother has arthritic problems with her knees, and being mainly on the ground floor avoids the pain associated with ascending stairs.
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  • The daughter and her two sons occupy nominally the first and second floors, as they need more bedrooms.
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  • In view of the arthritic problems with the grandmother’s knees, a shower cubicle was placed in the ground floor cloakroom.  This obviated the need for her to suffer unnecessary pain ascending the stairs to the bathroom and climbing into the bath.

    The shower in the ground floor cloakroom is not an unusual facility; it is very common these days, and prevents queues in the morning/evening.

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  • This showerroom has been given as one of the 2 reasons why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

    It should be said that the daughter and her sons also use the ground floor shower as the occasion demands.  Similarly, the grandfather uses the upstairs bathroom 3-4 times a week to have a bath, in preference to a shower.

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  • If three generations live too closely together it would be normal for relational friction to occur.  In an effort to avoid this pitfall with our joint ownership of the house, we utilised two of the first floor bedrooms as a lounge and a dining room.  Whilst we “visit” each other, this does mean that each generation has its own space, and this has proved successful in that aim.
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  • We do have meals together, but, naturally, the younger generations have tastes that differ from the older generation.  To cater for the times when the younger folk desire a different type of meal, we fitted out a small kitchenette in the first floor small bedroom.  This avoids two different meals being cooked in the main ground floor kitchen.  This situation is aggravated by medical dietary need in respect of both grandchildren.
  • This is given fro the other reason why we should pay TWO lots of Council Tax.

     

  • We can understand the legislator’s original intention, when formulating the Regulations, to raise council tax on individual flats when a house is physically divided into distinct living units.

    What we cannot accept is that it was their intention to penalise extended families who decide to buy a house together, to live together, and take a few simple precautions to avoid the natural pitfalls that exist when three generations of a family live together in one house.

    To impose an additional council tax burden on such a family, and make it impossible to sell the house, when that time arises, is unjust, unfair, and must be contrary to the original intentions of the legislators.

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  • These regulationare, or their interpretation is unjuust to ordinary residents consisting of an extended family that decides to live together in a house that is not subdivided into flats.
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  • Either the legislations should be repealed, or the interpretation should be changed so that only landlords are affected, not extended families.
  • Why does this matter?

    This legislation, or its interpretation is unjust, and discriminates against extended families.

    The importance of the mutual support provided by extended families cannot be overstated.

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