What to do About Council Tax
It’s important that you follow the correct procedure in terms of letting your council know that you are moving home. The principles are very much the same for all councils but there are slight differences in procedure between them so make sure you find out exactly what you need to do for your specific area. Here is a breakdown of the kinds of details your council are likely to need to know.
Moving Into or Within a DistrictThe council will need to know the date your new tenancy starts (or started) and the number of people who will be living there as well as their names. If you’re moving into rented accommodation some councils will also ask you if you’re moving into a furnished or unfurnished property. They will also want to know your landlord’s name and address. If you’re buying your home, they’ll want to know the completion date of the sale of the property and the names of the people who will be living in the property. They may also need to know your solicitor’s contact details as well as taking a contact number for you.
Moving Out of the DistrictThe council from where you are moving from will want to know the date your tenancy agreement ceased, if you have been renting the property and the contact details of your landlord. They’ll also want to know your solicitor’s details if you’re selling your home to move out of the area. It is also your responsibility to contact the council of the new area you are moving to and, once again, give them the contact details of your landlord or solicitor, depending on whether you’re going to be renting or buying along with the names of the people who are going to be residing with you in the new property.
Things to RememberIt’s important to remember to include all those people residing with you in order to calculate your council tax. If you are going to be living alone, you will be entitled to a discount on your council tax so you need to tell the council that. However, should those circumstances change later, having claimed a council tax rebate for being a sole occupier, it’s also important to let them know that too as it is a criminal offence to continue to claim a rebate if somebody else then comes to live in your property with you. Council tax is banded into different rates and a similar property in market value in one area may fall into a different rate band than the one you’ve previously been living in so you could end up paying significantly more (or less) in one area from another. And, if you’re buying or renting a much more expensive property than the one you’ve just moved from, the council tax band you’re placed in is likely to be considerably higher.
Payments on Your Old PropertyYou are usually required to pay council tax on your new home, whether rented or bought, from the date you move into your new property and you’d usually stop paying rent on your old property from the day before you actually move out. There can be exceptions to this, however. For example, if you’ve moved but are yet to sell your previous property and it has been unoccupied for six months or more, you might be liable for council tax on that property too in addition to the council tax you’re paying on your new home.
So, the best rule of thumb is to contact your local council and your new council too, if you are moving away from the area, and they will be able to tell you exactly where you stand and what you need to do to comply with the regulations.