This blog will answer the question “Does council tax change when someone moves in?” It will discuss the various situations according to the circumstances of the person moving in. It will also cover what changes in council tax if someone moves out. Along with all that, it also covers the general details as to who has to pay council tax, what it depends on, etc.

Does council tax change when someone moves in?

Yes, council tax changes when an adult moves in or out of your property. Council tax is a charge dependent mainly on two things: the council tax band of your property, and the circumstances of the person responsible to pay the tax. A change in any of the two affects the council tax charged upon your house.

Change in circumstances of the person responsible to pay the tax depending upon the fact how many dependents are residing with him, or how many independents are residing with him who can share his tax burden. Therefore, the situation when someone moves in or out of a property is an important factor to consider while calculating council tax.

Changes when someone moves in

Your council tax may change to increase or decrease if someone moves in to live with you, depending upon the circumstances of the person moving in.

The following changes might occur in your council tax when anyone moves in to stay with you:

  • If you have been living alone, and have been claiming a single occupancy discount, and an adult moves in with you, meaning you are no longer the only adult staying at the property, eligible for council tax, you need to apply to stop receiving the single occupancy discount.
  • Your council tax bill is affected if your child or children move back in to stay with you. Your tax liability, in this case, might increase, decrease or remain the same depending upon whether your children are students or employed adults.
  • Your council tax liability might change if a lodger or a sub-tenant moves into your house, the tax responsibility then changes according to the circumstances of the person who moved in.
  • If your partner who has been staying away due to any reason, moves back to live with you, your council tax changes accordingly.
  • If a person with a severe mental impairment moves in to live with the you, your council tax might be reduced on account of the SMI discount which you might get for taking care of the person with SMI.
  • If a person with a disability moves in to live with you, for whom you need to make adjustments to your house, add extra space for their convenience to live with their disability, then you might avail council tax discount on account of the person with a disability living with you.

Changes when someone moves out

As happens in the case when someone moves in your property, so does when someone moves out of your property.

Your council tax changes in the following ways when someone movies out of your property:

  • If your partner or any other adult you have been staying with moves out of the property, and you become the sole resident of the property, you can claim a 25% council tax single occupancy discount.
  • If someone moves out of your property so that the only persons staying with you are students, trainees, or apprentices, that is, people who are not counted as adults, then also you become eligible for a 25% single occupancy discount.
  • If an adult has moved out of your house to stay in a hospital, residential care home, or nursing home permanently, then they are not liable to pay council tax, and you are charged accordingly.
  • If you or an adult of your property is in hospital or prison, or any person detained by the order of a court, then you or the person are not liable to pay council tax.
  • If an adult moves out of your home as a result of which no one living at your home counts as an adult, then you can apply for a 50% council tax discount.

Changing in tenancy

Landlords need to inform their local council if there is any change in their tenancies. Since tenants do not always inform the council as soon as they move in, it is the responsibility of the landlord to keep the local council up to date with the change in tenants.

Also, it is the landlords who are responsible for council tax for empty properties, therefore they should inform the local councils on time when a tenant has moved out, and it is they who would be charged according to the council tax charge at an empty property. Also, when an empty property is occupied when a new tenant moves in, it is the duty of the landlord to inform of the re-occupancy of the property and its not-empty status anymore. The council tax liability again in this case might fall on the tenant depending on the type of tenant. Therefore, the landowner should keep the local council updated with respect to the person responsible to pay council tax on his property.

Informing your local council

You need to inform your local council about any change in your living circumstances. If any person moves in or moves out of your property, and you become eligible to avail of any council tax discount, then you need to inform your local council so that you can get the council tax discount. 

Similarly, if any person moving in or out of your property disqualifies you from receiving any discount, you need to inform your local council of the change and stop receiving the applicable benefits.

If you don’t inform your council to stop receiving the benefits, you can be fined later on by your local council.

You need to add or remove persons from your council tax account if someone moves in or moves out of your property. Your availing discounts or your council tax adjustment based on a number of adults living at your property depend on the change in your council tax account, which keeps the local council updated.

When any new person is moving in to live with you, you need to inform the local council of their name, the date when they are moving is, along with their previous address, and whether the person is moving in the capacity of a tenant or a joint owner.

For a person moving out of your property, you need to inform your local council of their name, their new address where they are moving to, and the date when they are moving out.

Who has to pay council tax?

Generally, the following persons have to pay council tax:

  • Any person who is 18 years of age or over 18, and who owns or rents a home.
  • If only 1 person lives in a property they will be the liable person
  • The person who occupies a property is the person liable to pay council
  • When the property is an HMO, or it is empty, the owner of the property is liable to pay the council tax.
  • If there is more than one person living on a property, the person who is liable to pay council tax is determined by a system called the hierarchy of liability. The hierarchy goes from top to bottom. The topmost person is the one responsible for paying council tax, in whose absence, the next will be responsible and so on.

This hierarchy is as follows:

  1. First liability falls upon the resident owner-occupier who owns the freehold of all or any part of the property.
  1. In absence of one, the responsibility is that of the resident leaseholder of all or any part of the property, such as an owner-occupier who pays a ground rent.
  1. If there is no freeholder or leaseholder, the council tax liability is that of the resident statutory tenant on an assured tenancy agreement, such as a council or private tenant.
  1. In absence of a tenant even, the liability is that of the resident who lives in the property and is a licensee, that is, a person who is not a tenant but has permission to live there.
  1. If there is no licensee even, then any resident staying at the property, for example, a squatter has to pay the council tax.
  1. As a last resort, if the property is not at all occupied by any resident, then the council tax liability falls upon the owner of the property who doesn’t live there

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

You’ll usually get a 50% discount if no one living in your home, including you, counts as an adult.

You will not have to pay any Council Tax if everyone in your home, including you, is a full-time student.

Conclusion 

This blog answered the question “Does council tax change when someone moves in?” It discussed the various situations according to the circumstances of the person moving in. It also covered what changes in council tax if someone moves out. Along with all that, it also covered the general details as to who has to pay council tax, what it depends on, etc.

FAQs

Will my council tax increase if my partner moves in?

Yes, your council tax will most probably increase if your partner moves in. this happens in the situation where you have been claiming a single occupancy discount. You will lose the discount if your partner moves in with you since you are no longer living alone.

Is council tax affected by the number of occupants?

Yes, council tax is affected by the number of adults living on a property. There is only one single person liable to pay the council tax, however, if there is more than one adult living in a property, they are both jointly and severally liable for the council tax on the property.

Is council tax split between occupants?

No, council tax is not split between occupants, however, two or more people living on a property together are jointly and severally liable for the council tax on it.

How many nights can someone stay without affecting benefits?

There is no fixed safe number of nights for which you can stay at a property to not be liable for council tax. Your local council might ask you to make a joint claim if a person stays at a property regularly.

Will I lose my benefits if I move in with my boyfriend?

Yes, you might lose any council tax benefits you are receiving if you move in with your boyfriend. You will stop receiving a single occupancy discount that you might have been receiving. Also, if both of you are earning then the council tax will be calculated accordingly, considering both of you as adults.

Citations 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/housing/council-tax/council-tax-w/
https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/5407/Council-Tax-When-someone-is-moving-out-or-in–back-in-to-your-home
https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/5431/Council-Tax-You-move-within-Powys-but-someone-else-pays-bill
https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/survival-guide-benefits-and-living-together
https://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/life-504/family-other-relationships-50/1701811-how-many-nights-can-my-partner-stay-over-without-affecting-benefits.html
https://form.cheshireeast.gov.uk/service/Council_Tax___Change_of_tenancy
https://www.northgate-nes.co.uk/pls/pwslive/f?p=CARPWS:HOME:1710102661609:INITIALISE::SESSION:APP_LA_CODE,APP_TEXT_LANGUAGE,APP_SRV_CODE,APP_ACCOUNT_TYPE:POWYS,ENG,CAR,CT&cs=3FTf1t6LckOEovu35Yc0AiNMwHqgCMs860aHWAqsYODZmiwHcwbM_AXpAAy60Z1AcELy8VOHHLVcrALvHNgKGSA
https://liverpool.gov.uk/council-tax/register-for-council-tax-or-tell-us-about-a-change/change-in-household-circumstances/
https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/who-has-to-pay
https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/home/council-tax-tell-us-about-any-changes
https://www.harrow.gov.uk/council-tax/tell-us-youre-moving-home/3
https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/council-tax/add-remove-someone
https://www.wirral.gov.uk/council-tax/change-address-or-circumstances
https://www.comparemymove.com/advice/removals/other/council-tax-moving-house
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50179/change_in_circumstances/1715/tell_us_if_anyone_moves_in_or_out_of_your_household
https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council_tax/council-tax-change-of-circumstance/council-tax-change-of-address.aspx
https://www.bristol.gov.uk/council-tax/changes-of-circumstance
https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/council-tax/report-a-change/
https://www.eastriding.gov.uk/housing/council-tax/council-tax-change/
https://www.torbay.gov.uk/council-tax/change-of-circumstances/
https://www.fenland.gov.uk/counciltax

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.