This blog answers the question “What are The Council Tax Regulations for Waltham Forest?” It mentions the results of the 2022 local council elections in which new members of the Waltham Forest Council have taken office in their respective wards. These Councillors are responsible for passing council tax laws in the Council. 

Council Tax fraud guidelines for Waltham Forest help landlords and taxpayers alike to save themselves from losses and from being prosecuted for tax evasion.

What Are The Council Tax Regulations for Waltham Forest?

These are the Council Tax Regulations for Waltham Forest

  • People living in a property as their main home aged over 18 are liable to pay council tax
  • In the case of an empty property the owner is liable to pay council tax

The following Hierarchy of Eligibility applies when there is a clash between two or more occupants regarding who should pay the tax:

  • The first criteria is the resident who owns the freehold
  • The second criteria for seeing who pays council tax is the one who owns a leasehold
  • The third criteria is a resident who is an assured or secure tenant (in case the landlord cannot be considered as the owner)
  • A resident who has a licence to occupy the property
  • Lastly, any other resident becomes liable to pay the council tax

If two people appear jointly at the same point in the Hierarchy of Eligibility then they are both responsible to pay the tax. If a couple lives in a property they are also jointly liable to pay council tax.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest was created in 1965 and the name “Waltham Forest” is taken from an institution that used to manage deer in South West Essex.

Local Council Elections Waltham Forest 2022

Councillor Karen Bellamy (from Higham Hill Ward) was elected mayor of Waltham Forest on 25th May 2022. You can contact her on this email address

The other ward candidates elected to the Waltham Forest Council this May are :

  • Naheed Asghar and Jonathan Gerrard O Dea (Labour Party) for Cathall Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Johar Khan and Sharon Monica Waldron (Labour Party) for Markhouse Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Victoria Emily Yvonne Te Velde and Richard Charles Sweden (Labour Party) For Woodstreet Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Kizzy Jane Gardiner, Grace May Williams and Jack Thomas Mark Phipps (Labour Party) For William Morris Ward, Waltham Forest 
  • Jennifer Christine Grey, Clyde William Loakes, Marie Elizabeth Pye (Labour Party) For Leytonstone Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Miriam Rose Mirwitch, Ahsan Khan and Andrew James Dixon (Labour Party) for Hoe Street Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Kastriot Berberi, Marsela Berberi and Zafran Malik (Labour Party)  For Forest Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Khevyn Raj Limbajee, Anna Chinyere Mbachu and Uzma Rasool (Labour Party) For Grove Green Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Anthony Dennis Bell and for Hale End and Rosalind Anne Dore (Labour Party) for Highams Park South Ward
  • Kischa Bianca Green, Sally Littlejohn and Keith Arthur Rayner For Cann Hall Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Karen Allison Elizabeth Bellamy, Kira Millana Lewis and Alistair Luke Strathern (Labour Party) For Higham Hill Ward, Waltham Forest
  • John Julian Charles Moss (Conservative Party), Sam Terence O’Connell (Conservative Party) and Catherine Elizabeth Suamarez (Conservative Party) For Larkswood Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Mohammed Anwar, Thomas Richard Connor and Crystal Chibuogo Ihenachor (Labour Party), High Street Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Afzal Akram (Conservative Party) Elizabeth Baptiste (Labour Party) and Jemma Louise Hemsted (Conservative Party) for Valley Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Shabana Qadir, Gerard Anthony Lyons and Jennifer Elaine Whilby (Labour Party) for Lea Bridge Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Marion Joyce Fitzgerald (Conservative Party) Jusden Riyad Nebil Halebi (Conservative Party) and Tim Raymond James (Conservative Party) for Hatch Lane Highams Park North Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Mitchell Goldie (Conservative Party), Sazimet Palta Imre (Conservative Party) and Kay Isa (Conservative Party) For Chingford Green, Waltham Forest
  • Paul Leslie Douglas, Louise Mitchell and Stephen Terry (Labour Party) For Chapel End, Waltham Forest
  • Yusuf Patel, Caramel, Caramel Amanda Quin (Labour Party) For Upper Walthamstow, Waltham Forest
  • Roy John Berg (Conservative Party) and Emma Dawn Best (Conservative Party) For Endlebury Ward, Waltham Forest
  • Rhiannon Eglin, Whitney Ijioma Ihenachor and Terence Victor Wheeler (Labour Party) For Leyton Ward, Waltham Forest

These people of working age can receive reductions in council tax in Waltham Forest

What are the Waltham Forest Tax Council Services?

The Waltham Forest Tax Council offers the following services :

  • Adult Social Care 
  • Soho Theatre
  • Fellowship Square
  • Whipps Cross Hospital Development
  • Primary and Secondary Education 

How To Apply for admission

  • Rubbish and Recycling
  • Parking,Roads and Travel

Does Waltham Forest have problems with Tenancy Fraud?

Yes, there have been numerous cases where people have occupied property they don’t own.

The Waltham Forest Council has saved more than £6 million between April 2019 and March 2020 by prosecuting home buyers faking documents and information. 

Unlawful profit orders are used against council tenants to recover the amount of benefit exacted from subletting the property illegally. This money is reclaimed by the landlord as a result.

You cannot be prosecuted as a tenant under these unlawful profit orders if :

  • You have a private landlord
  • You live in a shared ownership property where you buy a part and rent the rest of your property
  • You have a family intervention tenancy

What are the different types of Council Tax fraud in Waltham Forest?

Fraud is defined by the Fraud Act 2006 as any dishonest false representation, failure to declare information or abuse of position that is intended to benefit someone or to cause loss to anyone. 

Housing Fraud 

Housing Fraud is of three kinds; subletting, housing application fraud, and succession fraud. 

Right To Buy Fraud 

The Right To Buy Fraud occurs when the property’s purchase is financed by the proceeds of money laundering or other criminal activity. The tenant who submits this application is also not living in the property at that time.

There are 8 conditions for identifying Procurement fraud :

  • The first one is where suppliers team up with each other to fix prices for maximising their profit
  • Suppliers team up to affect the result of supply bids by submitting fake bids. This action makes one of them more likely to win the contract.
  • Suppliers bribe the company’s staff to affect the tendering process and help them win,
  • Staff purchase items for their own personal use from the official finances of the company,

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  • Company staff deliberately pay for work that is incomplete or below quality to benefit the contractor and save him from losing the contract. Instead of the contractor being held accountable for his mistakes the company will be liable to pay for losses and repairs related to these errors.
  • Suppliers submit false invoices. These can be for work not completed or services not provided which is being charged from the organization. 

The following are situations of Contractor Fraud:

  • Stealing of Documents, Data or cash by an organization’s employees, contractors or suppliers
  • Submitting false claims for travel expenses or overtime
  • Overstating the value of genuine council tax claims
  • Submitting fraudulent petty cash claims
  • The use of an office credit card for personal payments
  • Helping your family or friends to unlawfully get contracts or services
  • Misleading the authorities by claiming sick pay for being unwell and during that time working at another job
  • Using the company’s assets such as transport, office stationery, furniture, or laptops for personal use (without permission)
  • Managing your own personal business during work time
  • Colluding with criminals to defraud your Council or an organisation
  • Improperly disposing personal assets
  • Making payments to suppliers who don’t deliver goods (on time) or to those delivering substandard goods
  • Employing your family or friends without using the conventional application process
  • Paying unmerited bonuses to staff

There are 4 types of creditor fraud that have been caught are:

  • Diverting the funds due to a creditor to a fake account
  • Payment Diversion fraud is when a fraudster acts like a genuine account holder and requests a change in bank details. These new bank details will lead the Bank Account to transfer money to the cheating beneficiary who usually carries out this transfer quickly so it is difficult to recover. 

This change of bank details request may be in the form of a scamming email, phone call using the name of the real person or a letter in his/her name.

  • The staff of a company creates fraudulent creditor accounts
  • Creditors submit fake invoices and people inside the organisation pay these deliberately as they are involved in the fraud together

On conviction of fraud, the maximum sentence can be 10 years in prison and or a fine.

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

This Act started off in the UK parliament as a private members bill presented to the floor by Richard Harrington on 20th June 2012. It was passed into law on 15th October 2013.

Mr Harrington explained why he brought the Act to Parliament for approval:

He had observed that a large number of properties are being sublet improperly which is preventing access to housing to hardworking families, many of whom have been on waiting lists for years.

The policy rationale behind the Act is to make sure that Social Housing is provided to those in greatest need

Private rented property licence

The landlord needs to apply for Private Rented Property Licensing to legalise the property being rented out and be able to catch tenancy fraud, subletting and other violations,

Standards for private rented property in Waltham Forest

If your property has 5 or more unrelated people who form two or more households you need to apply for HMO licensing

Here is a copy of the property licensing rules of HMO’s for Waltham Forest

You can also contact the council regarding licensing rules by writing to: this email address

Call our fraud hotline 24 hours a day on 0300 003 1099 or email us on fraud@walthamforest.gov.uk to report cases of tenancy fraud

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “What are the Council Tax regulations For Waltham Forest?” Council Tax laws in Waltham Forest are mostly the same as those elsewhere in the UK.  The Waltham Forest tax council is strict in cracking down on fraud such as tenancy fraud.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : What are the Council Tax Regulations for Waltham Forest?

What are the special expenses in council tax?

Special Expenses are charges made by council tax when they carry out work on behalf of your Parish Council. They are made in relation of the costs of maintaining open spaces and Christmas lights within the borough. The Council can levy special expenses on the following items :

  • All Cemetary provisions
  •  allotment provisions
  • Parks, open spaces and recreation grounds
  • The Council’s town center support

I am moving out part way through the year, do I need to pay the full bill?

Yes, you will need to pay the full bill as your account cannot be changed more than 30 days before your tenancy end date. So its probably better for you to stay there for the entire year as the payments for the full 12 months will need to be made. As you still remain the owner of the property before you move out of it failing to pay the council tax (halfway) will increase your debt.

I am under 18, do I need to pay council tax?

No, you will not be billed for council tax until you are 18. You need to inform council tax about whether you have moved into a property so that they can set up an account for you which records the payments which will become due when you are an adult.

Citations

Waltham Forest Local Council Election Results 2022

Fraud Act 2006

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

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