A few of my HMOs were re-banded by the local council, a few years ago. The properties went from Band G (£2500) for the whole house - to each room being Band A per room (£6000 for the whole house). As you can imagine, that is an astonishing uplift. I will not go into the why I think the VOA are nasty and how the most cash strapped tenants are the collateral damage in their unfair war against HMO landlords (I am completely neutral on the subject)
I wanted to share some practical tips on how I have managed the situation, as I've decided to keep to my commitment to an "all bills included" offering. As part of the tenancy pack - I ask the tenant to sign a document stating that:
A) You (as the landlord) have permission to talk about their account for their room @ their address (include room number)
B) You (as the landlord) pay the direct debit
C) They (as the occupant) confirm they are the single occupant
D) All mail, (in regards to council tax) should be sent to your (thelandlords) address
I use a virtual office that scans all my mail and sends it via email (cuts down admin) - so when the council tax bills come in per room I can view them digitally. I can share my version of the letter, if you want it - just let me know below.
Once that has been signed. Ask the tenant to email, the signed pdf letter to the council cc'ing you in.Then fill in the "move in" form on your council website on behalf of your tenant, as well.If there are any letters, for the tenant asking to confirm single occupancy (they send these out sneakily & periodically to catch fraudsters) - you are set up to quickly deal with it.
Rents still had to go up by £28 per room - but it wasn't too devastating. If you've experienced this problem - I'd be keen to know what process you have in place?