Council tax is the tax you’ll pay to your local authority. It helps pay for local services, such as schools, rubbish collection, public building repairs and more. How much council tax you’re required to pay will depend on where you live.
Thus, if you’re moving house into a different local authority, the amount you pay in council tax might change, and you may be required to notify your local council of your change of address.
It’s essential that you remember to notify the Local Authority that you’re moving house so that you can cancel your old council tax and register for council tax in your new area.
So, here’s everything you need to know about council tax when moving home.
What happens with Council Tax when moving home?
When you leave your previous property, the local council will send you a final bill in the post. This bill will be taken as a normal monthly payment. Then, once you reach your new address, you’ll receive an annual bill for your new property.
Alternatively, if you’re moving house but staying within the same area, you’ll continue to pay council tax to the same local authority. This means that you can continue to use the same direct debit arrangement.
For example, if you already live in Leeds and are moving to another house within the Leeds area, you won’t need to set up a new direct debit as you’ll continue paying to Leeds City Council.
How to cancel Council Tax when moving house
You should notify your Local Authority of where you’re moving from and where you’re moving to at least one month prior to leaving. You can easily complete your council tax change of address online, along with any other essential institutions.
You should receive a final council tax bill within one month after your moving date. At this point, you can apply for a refund if you’re in credit from your local authority.
It’s important to complete your council tax address change with plenty of time to spare so that you don’t find yourself paying unnecessary tax for a home you’re no longer living in.
When do you start paying council tax after moving?
You should start paying council tax as soon as you move into your new home.
If you’ve moved within the same local authority, your direct debit can continue at your new address. This means that you can expect to pay at the same time as at your previous property.
Many home movers make the mistake of waiting for the ‘new occupier’ letter to come through the door after they’ve moved. They think that they’ll be able to delay having to make extra payments. However, the council will simply backdate your payments so you’ll end up paying it all eventually.
Who has to pay council tax?
The vast majority of homeowners and renters in Britain have to pay council tax. However, there are some rare exceptions to this rule.
For example, full-time students, anyone who’s part of an apprenticeship scheme, and residents under the age of 18 years do not have to pay Council Tax. Similarly, if you’re moving into Armed Forces accommodation, you won’t have to pay Council Tax.
Some people are also eligible for discounted Council Tax payments. You’ll be able to get a 25% reduction if you live alone or are the only adult in the property. Or, if the property is empty, such as a second home or a holiday home, you might be eligible for a 50% discount on your Council Tax.
How much is Council Tax?
Council Tax is calculated based on the value of your home using 8 valuation bands in England and Scotland. These bands range from A (highest) to H (lowest). These valuation bands are determined by the price the property would have sold for on 1st April 1991.
However, how much you will pay in Council Tax will also depend on where you live. This is because it is your local authority that decides how much you need to pay based on the amount they need to raise and on where the property sits in the valuation band.
In 2018/19, the cost of Council Tax for the average homeowner in England was £1,486, and £1,208 in Scotland.
Council Tax moving house
Hopefully, we’ve answered your questions about what to do with your Council Tax when moving home. If you need any more information on the house moving process, take a look at our property finance tips.