Council Taxes When Moving House

As we all know, council tax is something we all have to pay in the UK and covers local services such as planning, transport, highways, police, fire, libraries, leisure and recreation, rubbish collection and disposal, environmental health and trading standards.

You would only not pay council tax on a property if a property is owned by a charity, is empty because someone has died, or is unoccupied because the person who lived there now lives elsewhere in order to be cared for.

Other reasons that exclude you from paying council tax can be –

  • Young men and women under 25 years old who receive financial help from the Skill Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • Student nurses
  • Language assistants from abroad, who’re registered with the British Council
  • Severely mentally impaired people
  • Diplomats
  • Live-in carers who are taking care of a person who is not a spouse, partner or family member

If you avoid your council tax bill, then you could be in line for a sizeable fine from the council and possibly legal action. And it’s a very important part of your admin when moving to a new house. There are things to consider, such as which council catchment you will be moving to, your council tax banding, cancelling your previous council tax payments and setting up your new payments, leaving no gaps between the two.

If you find yourself overlapping council tax payments between your properties, you may have to swallow some of the extra costs. For example, if you’ve bought a new house on the 10th day of the month and started living there straight away (you pay council tax on that property immediately) but didn’t sell your previous property until the 20th, you would still have to pay council taxes for the old property up to the 20th day even though you haven’t been living there.

The same is valid for renters; the tenant must pay the council tax for the period until the end of the tenancy agreement even if they have vacated the property earlier.

How is Council Tax calculated?

There is currently an 8-band council tax system, lettered from A to H, which determines how much the property’s residents should pay.

Residents living in band A properties pay the lowest amount of council tax for the area they live in, while residents of band H homes pay the largest council tax value in the UK.

Factors such as property size, location, condition and market value can determine the Council Tax band;

A Up to £40,000

B £40,000 – £52,000

C £52,000 – £68,000

D £68,000 – £88,000

E £88,000 – £120,000

F £120,000 – £160,000

G £160,000 – £320,000

H >£320,000

If you make significant changes to your property (extensions/split into smaller living accommodations etc), then your council tax banding may change.

If you think you are paying too much council tax, you can also put in an official enquiry to your local council, but you must have sufficient reasons to question the current council tax band for your property.

Cancelling Council Tax When Moving to A New House

To cancel your council tax for the property you are moving out of, you must be able to provide the local authorities with your moving date and the address of the property you will be moving to, at least a month before you move. There are always waiting lists with the council and doing it sooner rather than later can help you to avoid paying additional taxes.

If you move into an area with a different local council to your current one, contact both of the authorities – your current and your future one. Don’t wait for your new local council to contact you – they will only get in touch if you have unpaid local council taxes.

When notifying the local council of the new address, you’ll also have to provide personal details if you’re living with someone, when you moved and to inform the council if you have bought the property or are living in rented accommodation.

The cost of council tax

Here are the values of the council taxes for each tax band in the UK, which can be paid in one lump sum or over ten calendar months –

Band A – £1,020

Band B – £1,190

Band C – £1,360

Band D – £1,530

Band E – £1,870

Band F – £2,200

Band G – £2,540

Band H – £3,050

Do not wait for the new local council to send a notification for unpaid local council taxes. Instead, immediately notify the local authority that you have changed your address. Any delays can lead to fines for delayed council tax payments.

If you’re not sure who your local council authority is, you will be able to find this out very easily online.

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