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BTL landlord ordered to pay £3k for trying to avoid paying council tax

A buy-to-let landlord in Telford has been fined £1,000, ordered to pay £2,183 costs and a £100 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to creating false tenancies to avoid paying council tax on vacant properties.

Satinderjit Singh Thiara, who co-owns letting agency First 4 Let (Telford) Ltd, produced two false tenancy documents for a property in Burtondale, Brookside; one for a tenant who had left, the other for someone who did not exist.

He also submitted a 12-month tenancy agreement for a property in Dallamoor, Hollinswood, in the name of a couple after they had left.


The idea behind the false tenancy agreements was to make the people who were illegally named in the documents liable for council tax that he should have paid.

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for enforcement, commented: “Council tax evasion is very serious.

“I commend our investigation team within our audit and governance department for their hard work and diligence in bringing this case to court.

“Let this be a warning to anyone else thinking of doing it in the future.”

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  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Ridiculously lenient sentence for outright blatant FRAUD, - message says, - Crime Pays. !
    and doesn't help reputation of the majority of Good Landlords.

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    The thing is this empty house council tax bung to these mafia style councils is just as bad. How can u get single person discount when u live on your own and and have to pay FULL council tax for vacant properties whilst trying to fill and do works and not using any of the services that it pays for. It’s an absolute disgrace how these parasite jobsworth councils can get away with it its becoming a major cost and huge headache so I don’t bloody blame him it’s just another Tory stealth tax on top of all the rest and is another cost that is making our job nearly unviable.

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    Councils should be in court. They are thieving from us Professional LLs daily every minute of the day, every day of the year, year on year they steal from us with their corrupt council tax rule.
    Ask them to expkain their stupid theiving rules and they can't. Corrupt.


    Here here Steve i couldn’t agree more I detest all of them

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    • 25 June 2019 21:07 PM

    Thing is even at it's most basic level CT being paid even if empty still ensures the Fire Brigade turnout to a fire at an empty property.
    So while very annoying having to pay CT for a vacant property you can kinda see why Councils have it correct that there are no charge free periods.
    Firemarks aren't needed anymore as CT is there to pay for the local Fire Service
    Same really for Police etc.
    A property may still consume local services even if vacant.
    Personally if vacant I always officially move in.
    No regulations prevent you living at multiple addresses.
    At least you get SPD.
    Does play merry hell with your electoral roll though.
    Can't vote currently due to all the addresses I have been at and am at currently.
    The ER and CT records are now compared which never used to occur.
    Just means sometimes depending on when the ER is compiled for elections your vote is removed by the ER Officer.
    Sometimes I have used a sort of house-sitter.
    From the Council perspective at least they have the vast majority of CT being paid all the time.
    SPD isn't of great concern and for rental property only lasts for a few weeks unless major refurbishment is occurring.
    I guess you can say that CT is just one of those monthly costs of doing business which is usually paid by a tenant.
    Managing rental property may mean that this doesn't always occur.
    So think on this if your empty for whatever reason rental property is burgled or set on fire you know the local services will turnout to deal with the situation.
    CT pays for those services!!


    Who do you vote for anyway !! We are no friends if any of those useless toffs and commy Marxists in Westminster

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    You should get relief for at least two months to do works and re let to sting you from day one is blatant theft end of story

    Suzanne Morgan

    I have a property in Chepstow and informed the Council that it was undergoing some renovations and I did not have to pay Council Tax on the empty property. Once my tenant went in I informed the Council and the tenants details and the CT commenced from the day the property was occupied. Mine was unoccupied for 3 months but I believe the max. is 6 months then 50% of the tax is payable. (this is on unfurnished properties)


    You are very lucky as your council seems to have not adopted the policy. As soon as a tenant moved out a bill hits the Mat within days sometimes the next day for FULL council tax .

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    • 25 June 2019 21:19 PM

    I get the sentiments.
    But as per what happens if the police or fire service have to attend the empty property!
    You would expect them to attend empty or not.

    Allowing charge free periods effectively means other CT payers are subsidising the services that are available for that property.
    CT is just one of those annoying liabilities that occurs when you buy a property.


    Agree to disagree Paul but get where ur coming from

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    • 25 June 2019 21:25 PM

    @NW Landlord.
    Yep totally agree with your jaundiced sentiments.
    Think I voted about 5 years ago.
    Nothing since.
    If there was a None of the above party I'd probably vote for them though the BrExit Party looks like a serious option.
    Though really tactical voting is required to prevent Labour winning seats.
    Whatever occurs Labour must not allowed to form the next Govt.
    A truly terrifying prospect that in comparison makes BrExit a minor detail!!!!!
    I resent paying CT on empty property as much as you and very grudgingly pay it.
    I guess when you have been used to free periods in the past you resent it's removal now.
    But a new LL who had never experienced free periods wouldn't think much about being charged even if empty.
    It is unfortunately the new norm.
    To have charge free periods will be in exceptional circumstances like if the property is burnt out!!


    Agree would be interested to see what this Brexit party have to offer corbynov terrifies me

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    Well fair enough but we pay massive Insurance Premiums & premium tax to cover those unfortunate events, also if the Fire Brigade is called & not taking anything away from them and the wonderful work they do, its my understanding you have to pay them as well anyhow.

    • 25 June 2019 21:39 PM

    No there is no charge unless it is a special service like pumping out a flooded basement though that is free for homeowners.
    Unless obviously a business premise then no charges are levied.
    Charges tend to be levied to prevent abuse of the service.
    The classic being locked out.
    Locked in is free as it is effectively a rescue.
    Locked out; dopey occupier.

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    OK but I am still paying full c/tax on empty property.
    It’s not empty by desire or for refurbishment but because there isn’t enough Tenants to go around yet they keeping building thousands of Flats clearly not required just because of subsidised Scheme distorting the whole market .

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    • 25 June 2019 23:16 PM

    Yes the alleged housing crisis does ring somewhat hollow when there aren't queues round the block for available properties.
    I believe there is too much property of all types available.
    It is just that a lot of the property isn't in areas where people want to be.
    There is very little demand in certain areas compared to where there are shortages amongst increased demand.
    It simply isn't possible to build to meet demand.
    It takes decades to achieve.
    Demand must be controlled.
    ONLY by border control may this be achieved.
    There are reckoned to be about net 250000 immigrants staying in the UK annually.
    They all want to live and work in high demand areas.
    Empty properties are a massive blight on the economy.
    Those on welfare should be deported to cheaper areas of the UK so that their high demand properties may be used by those that want to work.
    Forcing the feckless into cheaper rental accommodation would solve the problems of vacant properties in the de- industrialised towns which will never recover from what happened 40 years ago.
    Such areas should be where the welfare classes are sent.
    It matters not that they don't work.
    They don't work down South and it costs a fortune in HB so they might as well not work up North where HB is far cheaper.
    Perhaps then there wouldn't be vacant property incurring CT with no-one apart from the LL to pay it!!
    Hopefully the PRS will shrink substantially so reducing the numbers of vacant properties through lack of tenants.

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    Apply a 50% discount for an empty property for 1 month. Simple so simple and better than theiving our money.
    I have not had a Fire or a Break in for over 35 years. Call it luck call it good property management. The largest LLs in the UK has the largest single fire causing the largest death toll in a single block in the UK. And that was bad management not bad luck.


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