Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
Andy Kayll

Council Tax (and try and keep it to that)

Featured Posts

Hi, I have trawled the web and found random stuff on here but it's all either changed in law or people have taken it off topic and I'm going word blind.

Long and short for me is BWML are fing us over and we are fighting that but they have just sent a letter that has put a lot of the people on the marina into confusion (BWML are also crap at explaining things).

 

Before anyone flames me for not being a proper boater yes I do take my boat out and I also spend most of the summer working away (that bit I somehow got completly wrong but it's how my job works) plus, small as it is, it won't fit under most canal bridges so I can't continuous cruise even if I was here to do it.

BWML run (thts a joke) the marina and have offered composite rates for the Marina. Tower Hamlets actually charge £2360 for band H but BWML have rounded this up to £2500 and propose charging the 50 Res Moorings £120 each (seems like admin is £70 per boat).
In order to do this BWML have said that the VO (we don't know which one... Worcestor thinks anything shorter than 16mtr is too small to be lived on) says boats need to move moorings minimum 4 x times a year. Some owners (and it's understandable as we don't trust BWML at all) are saying "Let's pay the band A Council Tax" although if I am correct this may not end up Band A if you have a 65' Humber (mine isn't).

Does anyone know if paying a composite mooring is an all or nothing thing i.e. everyone agrees to it or we all end up being potentially individually rated with the value of the boat or can the 2 x systems co exist?
Is there any disadvantage to being composite rated? I read a post about a year ago that this was not an issue for benefits but is there any other possible problems?

If I can assure everyone here that they are not going to loose any rights by being composite (it's like being in a BIG House?) and it's just BWML coining another £3640 in "Admin" then that will keep most of them happy(ish) as it's less than £900 each but I know some will still go "pay it and I need to be able to say if that stuffs the rest up that are already strugglng.

Hoping for a short cut to advice here as google is making me lose the will to do anything :-/

Andy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not my field, but have tried to read twice and am struggling t understand.

Is referenceto Worcestor a place, and if so how does it relate to Tower Hamlets.

What is a VO? Actually, I'm now guessing maybe something like Valuation Office or Officer, but am wondering how clear someof this will read to others. Making it clear where it relates to would seem to be a start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16m too short to live on??

 

so a 16m barge which is 4m wide is unsuitable and a 17m nb would be suitable...

 

thats a bit silly

 

 

re residential mooring I would have thought you would get a council tax demand through the letterbox for an individual mooring as it will have been registered for mail etc. I suppose marinas may be different.

 

Limehouse? Poplar Dock?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to help us along a little, are you on a residential mooring and are being charged council tax as part of your mooring fee? or are you on a leisure mooring and have been told that you need to pay council tax because you are living on the boat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Residential boat owners association are the experts rboa.org.uk are the experts on council tax and well worth joining

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Residential boat owners association are the experts rboa.org.uk are the experts on council tax and well worth joining

 

Once a member, what kind of services are available. Are email queries answered? Is there some kind of 'real-time' help.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Residential boat owners association are the experts rboa.org.uk are the experts on council tax and well worth joining

yes and at present this subject is top of their list. The Council Tax issue seems to be countrywide at present. Only to be expected I guess as Councils try to balance the budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you google 'protection for residential boaters' an article on narrowboat world submitted by BWML explains their approach and the two types of council tax agreed with councils. The composite approach seems a good value for money approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just been involved with the VOA - the valuation office; we were told that tenants should pay thier own council tax rather than the landlord pay and off-charge. Not sure if moorers are regarded as tenants or not - others with bona fide residential morings should be able to assist.

 

On a slightly related topic I am aware of a number of people who live in mobile home parks but are only allowed to do so for 10½ to 11 months per year. I think this enables the site to avoid being classified as residential. On your own admission you aren't around during the summer so I wonder if your absence is long enough for you to escape the residential classification. Similarly, I wonder if those who live on their boats in marinas during the winter but are away cruising for several weeks continuously during the summer would also escape having their mooring classed as residential. How does this work with caravans and the like where people move their vans off site during the summer and live on them on site in the winter? Is it any different to someone who lives in a house but goes abroad for a couple of months to avoid the worst of the British winter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16m too short to live on??

 

so a 16m barge which is 4m wide is unsuitable and a 17m nb would be suitable...

 

thats a bit silly

 

 

re residential mooring I would have thought you would get a council tax demand through the letterbox for an individual mooring as it will have been registered for mail etc. I suppose marinas may be different.

 

Limehouse? Poplar Dock?

The Worcester quote is the place and, according to BWML, the valueations office there does apply a rule that a vessel of less than 16mtr cannot be registered as Residential. This little gem came up when BWML tried to impose fixed berth charges for the new Residential moorings, we managed to get that changed to a per meter rate for existing customers since over half the berths at Poplar cannot take a 16mtr vessel and they would be charging for water that did not exist.

The relevance of it is that BWML has sites up and down the country and when they quote what a VO has stipulated (boats moving 4 x times a year) we don't know if that has come from the local Tower Hamlets or somewhere else.

 

This new charge would only apply to the Residential bertholders. The other moorings are already covered by Business Tax which is part of the mooring fee already.

That said, anyone changing from Non Res to Res will be paying even more than it first appears as the Business Tax part of the mooring fee has not been removed.

 

For a lot of Marinas my being away so much would likely get me off being classed as "Residetial" however BWML have demanded a council tax bill in your own name for a property that is not sub let and that you have sole use of... That is BWML's own "classification" and to demand that in London is frankly a joke. The irony is that if I was paying composite council tax on another residance BWML would not accept that as I would not have a council tax bill in my own name etc.

 

I suppose the main question I am looking for an answere to is "If some of the Residential Moorers at the marina opt to pay their own Council Tax direct to Tower Hamlets does that prevent the remaining Residential moorings from being charged as a composite?"

 

Andy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose the main question I am looking for an answere to is "If some of the Residential Moorers at the marina opt to pay their own Council Tax direct to Tower Hamlets does that prevent the remaining Residential moorings from being charged as a composite?"

 

Andy smile.png

 

Andy, there's a lot of information and a lot of potential questions from the posts you've written already on this thread. It does appear that BWML have interpreted the application of council tax and their extra charges for resedential moorings, with an eye towards eeking extra profit out of it rather than simply passing on a tax or splitting it as fairly as possible.

 

To answer the direct question - and I'm no expert but I've read a lot of the stuff on here about it, including a recent court case which helps clarify council tax as applied to boats:

 

"If some of the Residential Moorers at the marina opt to pay their own Council Tax direct to Tower Hamlets" - this is the bit where you'd get stuck on. The valuation office will have either already valued a property for the purposes of council tax collection, or will value it. Council tax is payable on property (not boats, or voluntary contributions from individuals, etc). And the valuation office are the ones who decide what gets charged for council tax or not, and how much (effectively). Since the whole marina has already been judged as a composite heredatament, it is NOT possible to simply pay (for example a band A amount of) council tax on your individual boat, or mooring. To do this, would require the judgement from the valuation office (that its a band H composite hereditament) to be overturned and the whole place re-evaluated.

 

I think you're better off pursuing the way BWML split the council tax up (and their other charges imposed etc), and how it might be deemed fair or unfair to your particular circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cant get my head around this.

HMRC have very tight guidelines that determine what is a houseboat. If its not a houseboat, you pay VAT upon purchase. All of a sudden, the councils decide the majority of boats CAN be a houseboat. Something very wrong here.

 

For your info, you need to speak to simon robbins of NABO. He is heads above anyone on this subject.

Edited by jenlyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think its worth mentioning that what is a "houseboat" or resedential use of a boat, is defined differently, for various things:

 

- whether you pay council tax on it or not

- whether you are classed resedential or non-resedential in terms of a contract with whoever provides your home mooring (and possibly, a "high user fee" for the privelage)

- address/status for benefits claims

- address/status for banking

- address/status for car insurance

- address/status for driving licence

 

etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BWML have demanded a council tax bill in your own name for a property that is not sub let and that you have sole use of... )

That's clearly nonsense. I, as a house dweller, can produce a council tax bill in my name, but my wife and adult children who live with me can't. Does that mean that if any of them wanted a keep a boat in a BWML Marina they would be deemed residential?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, your comments on how a council rates a place make sense and would indicate that the 2 x methods of charging are mutually exclusive.

I will also see if I can get any further clarification from Simon Robbins (NABO).

 

The "official status" of the address you use is indeed an important issue. After the postal vote fiasco in Tower Hamlets (which also coencided with BWML telling the council we were not residential after all) the council got twitchy and downgraded us to "having a vested interest in the area". In effect that would have made us "of no fixed abode...". Fortunatly we managed to persuade them (THC) to put us back on the voting register as a bonfide address until BWML sorted out the mess they had left us in.

 

Re: The £120 per boat that BWML is proposing to charge. If they weren't trying to make a fast buck we would be more worried :P

 

Andy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"That's clearly nonsense. I, as a house dweller, can produce a council tax bill in my name, but my wife and adult children who live with me can't. Does that mean that if any of them wanted a keep a boat in a BWML Marina they would be deemed residential?"

 

If the mooring was taken in their name then yes, they would be required to take a Residential Mooring. We have tried putting many valid scenarios to them including the case that Students are exempt from paying council tax but (certainly for the London marinas) BWML have refused to budge or said they will "look into it" but refused to put anything in writing.

Doubtless in other areas of the country were they have empty marinas they would be more "Accomodating"

Edited by Andy Kayll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just been involved with the VOA - the valuation office; we were told that tenants should pay thier own council tax rather than the landlord pay and off-charge. Not sure if moorers are regarded as tenants or not - others with bona fide residential morings should be able to assist.

 

On a slightly related topic I am aware of a number of people who live in mobile home parks but are only allowed to do so for 10½ to 11 months per year. I think this enables the site to avoid being classified as residential. On your own admission you aren't around during the summer so I wonder if your absence is long enough for you to escape the residential classification. Similarly, I wonder if those who live on their boats in marinas during the winter but are away cruising for several weeks continuously during the summer would also escape having their mooring classed as residential. How does this work with caravans and the like where people move their vans off site during the summer and live on them on site in the winter? Is it any different to someone who lives in a house but goes abroad for a couple of months to avoid the worst of the British winter?

 

As someone who has 'mobile homed'.

 

I was allowed to live there for 10.5 months a year...

I WAS NOT allowed to have post delivered or register with a doctor.

As such..the site paid a business rate council tax..very low when split between all the homes...

They were also charged very low business rate electricity which was about 11p a unit...which was then split between the home owners.

 

I 'imagine; it's similar with boaters.

If you have post delivered....and register with the doctor..you have to pay your own council tax ?

 

That is what I 'imagine'..it may not be right ?

 

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who has 'mobile homed'.

 

I was allowed to live there for 10.5 months a year...

I WAS NOT allowed to have post delivered or register with a doctor.

As such..the site paid a business rate council tax..very low when split between all the homes...

They were also charged very low business rate electricity which was about 11p a unit...which was then split between the home owners.

 

I 'imagine; it's similar with boaters.

If you have post delivered....and register with the doctor..you have to pay your own council tax ?

 

That is what I 'imagine'..it may not be right ?

 

Bob

Hi Bob, if you can get permission from the leaseholder to install a post box (thats the hard part) and get the post office to recognise your address (probably more difficult now than when we did it in 2006) you can have post delivered. It doesn't depend on paying Council Tax unless you are receiving ballot papers but many site owners prevent people from doing this as, among other things, if people started to use the address as a credit scam the site address would become blacklisted and that would affect the site owner.

Likewise everyone has a right to medical care (for how long I wonder) and unless the practice is fully booked a surgery will not ask too many questions about the legitamacy of your address provided you can be contacted by post. Contact by post has become an issue as local authorities pay doctors a "standing charge" for having people on their books (please correct me if I am wrong on this) and as such they (local authority) sometimes send out letters to check that you exist.

 

People who live in Caravans now have quite a lot of clout when it comes to protection under law, mainly due to this being recognised as a traditional way of life. As it stands in Law at the moment the only protection for someone who lives on a boat is the Unfair Terms In Consumer Contracts. We also have the Waterways Ombudsman and although our new one does seem to be very active and fair his powers at the moment are sevirly limited by the whole "grey area" of living on a Boat. By example the MCA clasify the Tidal Thames as both Inland and Coastal (thats how daft it gets) and for this reason he was unable to adjuicate on our submission. BWML can class Poplar as "Inland" and now intend to charge people 30% extra if their boat is wider than 3Mtr.

 

Slap on wrist as now I'm going off topic :P

 

Andy :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Likewise everyone has a right to medical care (for how long I wonder) and unless the practice is fully booked a surgery will not ask too many questions about the legitamacy of your address provided you can be contacted by post. Contact by post has become an issue as local authorities pay doctors a "standing charge" for having people on their books (please correct me if I am wrong on this) and as such they (local authority) sometimes send out letters to check that you exist.

 

In two separate areas this last year I have failed after significant attempts to get any of the local GP's to recognise me as a real patient.

Despite having an address within the catchment in both local areas where mail could be sent to me.

Even after taking in a print out of the NHS guidelines for GP's on registering gypsies and travelers as full patients.

After inviting said practices to send me a test letter to proof receipt.

Even after inviting said practices to visit me on my boat.

I can get temp registration (which is not fit for my needs) or emergency care.

Or I can, according to one gitbitch of a practice manager, "try the addiction drop-in clinic in town, they also offer basic medical care and check ups to the homeless."

Edited by Starcoaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In two separate areas this last year I have failed after significant attempts to get any of the local GP's to recognise me as a real patient.

Despite having an address within the catchment in both local areas where mail could be sent to me.

Even after taking in a print out of the NHS guidelines for GP's on registering gypsies and travelers as full patients.

After inviting said practices to send me a test letter to proof receipt.

Even after inviting said practices to visit me on my boat.

I can get temp registration (which is not fit for my needs) or emergency care.

Or I can, according to one gitbitch of a practice manager, "try the addiction drop-in clinic in town, they also offer basic medical care and check ups to the homeless."

As I said, for how long I wonder.

I don't know your circumstances and am flying blind here but you say that temp registration is not fit for your needs. I mean no disresspect but could it be that the GP are seeing you as an expensive customer (care wise) that they think they can easily get rid of to someone else?

If you contact the local council they are obliged by law to allocate you a GP and the GP has no say in the matter (that is from a practice manager who lives on our marina).

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Andy, there's a lot of information and a lot of potential questions from the posts you've written already on this thread. It does appear that BWML have interpreted the application of council tax and their extra charges for resedential moorings, with an eye towards eeking extra profit out of it rather than simply passing on a tax or splitting it as fairly as possible.

 

To answer the direct question - and I'm no expert but I've read a lot of the stuff on here about it, including a recent court case which helps clarify council tax as applied to boats:

 

"If some of the Residential Moorers at the marina opt to pay their own Council Tax direct to Tower Hamlets" - this is the bit where you'd get stuck on. The valuation office will have either already valued a property for the purposes of council tax collection, or will value it. Council tax is payable on property (not boats, or voluntary contributions from individuals, etc). And the valuation office are the ones who decide what gets charged for council tax or not, and how much (effectively). Since the whole marina has already been judged as a composite heredatament, it is NOT possible to simply pay (for example a band A amount of) council tax on your individual boat, or mooring. To do this, would require the judgement from the valuation office (that its a band H composite hereditament) to be overturned and the whole place re-evaluated.

 

I think you're better off pursuing the way BWML split the council tax up (and their other charges imposed etc), and how it might be deemed fair or unfair to your particular circumstances.

I'm in agreement with PaulC. The residential part of the marine is either a composite hereditament, or it is not. It is the valuation office who will determine this, and no one else, (although it is probably open to appeal). Thus, in the OP case, if BWML are saying that it's composite, and that they require everyone to move moorings 4 times a year, to comply with this, then that is what it is, and how it will be.

 

Whatever BWML charge as an admin fee, provided the total paid is less than Band A Council Tax, (75% if only one occupant), then you are ahead of the game.

 

There may be a contractual argument with BWML regarding the admin element.

 

I suppose, if enough boaters could convince the council that their mooring was theirs, then the valuation office might be able to class each mooring as a separate valuation. The council would collect more money, and BWML would lose the chance to collect an Admin fee. Having said that, it might be that BWML need only have the contractual right to move you all around, rather than actually doing it, to make the whole thing composite.

 

It's quite complicated isn't it... I guess you need to decide as a group which you prefer, and fight that corner. I'd probably rather pay £120 than £900, even if it meant BWML making a few bucks.

 

I don't know what you might gain or lose by living in a composite, rather than an individual, hereditament, so can't reall point you either way in terms of which would be preferable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The argument changes if you pay Council Tax elsewhere - I will leave that side of it.

 

At Apsley the boaters there took the local council (Dacorum?) to court and they won their case as the standard BWML mooring conditions don't guarantee you a particular spot to moor in, BWML can move you about as they wish. Does anyone know if there is a boaters association of some kind there? Well worth talking to them.

 

I have no idea why Mr Weasel is introducing these changes and making out it is a good thing. For Councils it may be a good thing as I think they get cash for every residential planning approval.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have no idea why Mr Weasel is introducing these changes and making out it is a good thing"

 

I like that biggrin.png We are obviously talking about the same conglomoration of cells tongue.png

 

I have further information from BWML themselves (so take it with a large pinch of Salt as it may have become obsolete as the pen left the paper):

 

BWML has been talking to The National Valuation Office and have stated to us that moorings would have to be switched for at least a Month at a time and 4 x Times a Year.

BWML has also stated that they will Dob us in to the Council if we don't move by when they have told us in which case "That individual will generally receive from the Council an individual charge that will be generally at Band A". It's very General wink.png

 

Amongst ourselves it has already been suggested that if it is simply swapping around with your neighbour then we can still remain connected to the same bollard although some boats would need to leapfrog in order to keep the pontoon where the door is and your neighbour may not want / need to move or may not even be around...
It does have farce written all over it... I have been told that the new Electricity meters (been waiting over 4 years for those to arrive) will have a rechargeable swipe card. I have seen these on the Rolec website and you can take the credit off your meter back onto the card to use again on another meter but it could be another 4 years before they matterialise.


The bad news is that BT can charge up to £130 to move your line... They say this is if there is no line existing already so that's not the case at Poplar as every bollard is cabled although they don't say how much if a line already exists. Throw broadband into the equation and it gets even messier.

Provided BWML are telling the truth / not lying by omission (I know that is stretching the bounds) then THC Band H £2377.04 divided by 50 moorings would be £47.54 each per year (in the example BWML have provided an admin charge is not applied) so the saving is not to be sniffed at.

Something tells me that it is not that cut and dried though... What happens if only 10 Residential moorings are taken?
If 22 Res Moorings reach Band H (over £320,000) lets assume that an individual mooring is valued at £16000
BWML inform the council that 10 moorings are in use and the council say OH, Ok you are just within Band F that's £1716.75
£47.54 has just become £171.68 each
If another person takes a mooring (now 11) that tips into Band G £1980.87
Now it's £180.08 each. Still less than full Band A and probably driving BT Nuts but they (BT) would likely fit a Patch Panel once they realise we are playing magic roundabout.

 

Now for the strange bit... BWML are claiming that individual moorers CAN opt out and pay their own CT if they wish...

I think I may have a handle on this as BWML will be contacting the Local Council every 6 Months to tell them how many Moorings are in Residential use (and obviously who the Council should be Billing Individually).

It sounds like a burocratic nightmare for the Local Council as well but BWML and the National Valuation Office "seem" to have created a Hybrid.

 

If nothing else this info may be useful to other groups wrestling with an awkward Local Council as a precident has now been set? Will keep this updated as more info comes in.

 

Andy

Edited by Andy Kayll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The moving boats bit is Bull.....

 

A composite hereditament does not require shuffling of the individual dwellings. Just several dwellings normally fastened to the same structure.

 

I doubt they can, in law, charge both band A on certain pontoons and the rest as a composite.

 

I need to check the Tribunal Procedure Rules for the Valuation Tribunal to see what right of appeal, if any, you might carry but I suspect you'll not be a party to the decision unless joined during proceedings so my back foot would be to start a complaint and be clear in initial correspondence that you intend to seek advice on the possibility of Judicial Review should the guidance on moving boats around not be circulated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The argument changes if you pay Council Tax elsewhere - I will leave that side of it.

 

At Apsley the boaters there took the local council (Dacorum?) to court and they won their case as the standard BWML mooring conditions don't guarantee you a particular spot to moor in, BWML can move you about as they wish. Does anyone know if there is a boaters association of some kind there? Well worth talking to them.

 

I have no idea why Mr Weasel is introducing these changes and making out it is a good thing. For Councils it may be a good thing as I think they get cash for every residential planning approval.

I was the one that argued with the council about paying council tax on mooring within Apsley marina. The short of it; BWML are able to put another boat on your mooring while you are away and charge them, you see none of this money. So why should you be liable to pay the council tax. We fought and won. I don't think that Aspley BWML pay anything towards the council tax, so everyone (except the council) is a winner. Maybe boaters and Marinas should discuss this more and use it to both of their advantages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.