What Happens To Council Tax At The End Of Your Tenancy?
If you are keen to learn about what happens to Council Tax at the end of your tenancy, you will find some guidance in the following blog post. While we will mainly discuss the consequences of the end of a tenancy with regard to council tax, we will also explore how the type of tenancy affects your council tax liability at the end of its term, as well as how to cancel your council tax when you end your tenancy and move to new premises.
What Happens To Council Tax At The End Of Your Tenancy?
When a tenancy officially ends and the tenant formally informs their landlord of moving out of their rented property, the responsibility for council tax payments will shift from the tenant to the landlord; as per a mutually agreed date.
However, if a tenant leaves rented premises without formally ending their tenancy contract, they will remain liable for council tax payments until the remaining duration of the tenancy contract. In this way, they will be required to pay council tax on their old property as well as the new one.
According to the Government Finance Act 1992, the liability for council tax payments can be classified as per the below list, which mentions the household position of individuals in decreasing order of responsibility
- a resident who has a freehold interest in the property
- a resident who has a leasehold or superior leasehold interest in the property
- if there is more than one resident/tenant
- the resident is a statutory or secure tenant
- the resident is a licensee
- squatters; in the permanent absence of a resident
- a non-resident owner where there is no resident
Therefore, as long as the tenancy agreement is in place, the tenant will remain responsible for the council tax payments on a property. In the other case, the liability of the tenant towards council tax ends the day the tenant ends their tenancy agreement with their landlord.
Does The Type Of Tenancy Affect Your Council Tax Liability At The End Of Its Term?
Yes, the type of tenancy agreement that you have with your landlord can significantly impact the responsibility for council tax payments at the end of the tenancy term. For instance;
- If you have a tenancy agreement of six months or more, you will be responsible for council tax payments until the end of the tenancy term stated in your agreement. This remains applicable even if you choose to end your tenancy before the end of the agreed tenancy period (this can be equal to or more than six months)
- In the case of a tenancy agreement that is intended for less than six months, the tenant will only be liable for council tax payments until they occupy the property. Once the term of the agreement ends or even if the tenant and landlord agree to reduce the tenancy period and the tenant leaves the premises, they will no longer be responsible for council tax payments. These will now become the landlord’s responsibility.
Therefore, council tax liability passes on to the landlord when the tenant leaves the premises (as per an advance notice) or ends a periodic tenancy. Meanwhile, the tenant remains liable for council tax payment until the end of the term agreed to in a fixed-term tenancy (unless they are in mutual agreement with the landlord to pass on the liability to a new tenant).
How Do You Cancel Your Council Tax At The End Of A Tenancy?
You will have to contact your local council office to cancel your council tax at the end of a tenancy.
For this, you will need to follow the below-listed steps:
- You can call or visit your local council office and inform them of the end of your tenancy. You can take a copy of your tenancy agreement as well as the end of tenancy notification with you to share the start and end dates of your tenancy.
- You will be asked to fill in an application with the required details at the end of your tenancy including your current and future postal addresses.
- You should make this visit at least a month before you are planning to vacate your house so that you do not have to overstay and pay two separate rents while your application is under process. sometimes, it can take a few weeks for such applications to be processed by council authorities.
- You will also need to inform the council office of the areas that you are moving into and share the required details of your current and future addresses as well as the date of your intended move. You must inform both council offices to avoid having to pay two separate council tax bills.
- The day when you are about to leave your previous home and move into the next one, you will receive the last council tax bill to mark the end of your tenancy.
Once you inform your local council office of the end of your tenancy and a new address, it can take them up to 20 days to process your next council tax bill; depending on whether you are going to move to a new council district if the valuation band for your council tax band needs to be assessed or a change in your circumstances (if any).
What Information Do You Need To Share To Cancel Council Tax At The End Of Your Tenancy?
You will need to share some basic information with your local council office to cancel your council tax at the end of your tenancy. This includes the following:
- Applicant’s contact details
- Applicant’s council tax reference number
- Applicant’s bank details
- Landlord’s or agent’s details (in case you are a tenant)
- Joint tenant’s details (in case you will be sharing the new premises with someone else)
- Solicitor’s and joint owner’s details (in case you are the owner)
- Details of any benefits or council tax discounts claimed previously
- Details of the property that you are leaving
- Details of the property that you are moving into
This can be done online by visiting the website of your local council office.
The above discussion has highlighted that the end of a tenancy affects council tax such that the tenant is expected to clear their council tax dues before moving out and also leave a forwarding address. As for the amount of council tax to be paid and its duration at the end of a tenancy agreement, this will depend on your tenancy type and the mutual agreement between tenant and landlord.