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council tax   |   Jan 9, 2020

Here’s What You Need to Know about Council Tax if You’re Renting

Maybe you’re just about to rent your first ever home and don’t have a clue about council tax; or maybe you’re a long term renter, and you still don’t know the ins and outs of it. We don’t blame you at all if you’re confused, but don’t worry - we’re here to help.

In this blog post, we’re sharing all you need to know about council tax if you’re a renter, so you’re not startled by any nasty surprises. Get in the know, and keep on reading...

What is council tax?

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It’s just as unexciting as it sounds, but it’s really important that you know what council tax is, especially if you’re the person that needs to pay for it (which is the case more often than not).

Council tax is an annual fee payable to your local council for the local services it provides, such as rubbish collection services; libraries and education services; street lighting and cleaning;  road maintenance; record keeping (such as births, deaths and marriages); leisure and recreation projects, and even police and fire services.

Who has to pay council tax?

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The rates for council tax are set by over 9,000 local authorities across the country, and are usually payable in ten monthly instalments, followed by two months of not paying anything at all.

Paying the council tax bill is usually the responsibility of the person living in the property. This would be either the owner-occupiers, or the renters in privately rented or council accommodation.

Some people are exempt from paying council tax, including full-time students and some live-in carers. Discounts and reductions are available, too.

The amount of council tax payable varies per property, with every property being placed into a council tax band between A and H, based on its size, location and a few other factors. See the table below for an idea of the value of a property in relation to the council tax band that that property will generally fall into...

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Every April, you’ll be sent a council tax bill with the option to pay in full, or in ten monthly instalments by direct debit, as mentioned above.

Do I have to pay council tax if I’m renting?

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If you are renting a home, yes, you will most probably have to pay council tax on the property.

As the payment for council tax goes directly to the local council, most landlords will not include it in the cost of monthly rent and will require you to pay your council tax bill separately.

We highly recommend that you check your contract and/or speak to your landlord or lettings agent to find out whether you need to pay council tax for your rented property.

Before renting a property, you can speak directly to the agent in charge of it through our app - ensuring that you know everything you need to know from the outset.

Some properties can be exempt from council tax, as are some groups of people. You may also be eligible for a council tax reduction depending on your circumstances - you can click here to find out more about that.

Finally...

We hope we’ve cleared up the main questions that you may have around council tax in this blog post, but please don’t hesitate to contact agents directly through our app if you have any further questions about a particular property.

You can also visit this governmental website for more information. Good luck!

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