If you are a landlord renting out a property, the responsibility for paying Council Tax depends on what sort of letting arrangement you have.
When is the tenant responsible?
The tenant(s) is or are responsible for the Council Tax when you rent the whole of the property to one person or family, or to joint tenants. We send the bill to your tenant (s).
When is the landlord responsible?
If you rent out the property to several people, and they each have an individual tenancy agreement to occupy only part of the building – called ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO) – you as landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send the bill to you.
If you live in the property with the tenants you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.
If the property is unoccupied or empty and isn’t anyone’s main home you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.
If you let your property to a tenant who is under 18 years old, you will remain liable for council tax. However, an exemption will be granted until your tenant's 18th birthday. When the tenant becomes 18 years old, they will be held liable and a Council Tax account will be set up in their name.
If the property is a residential care home or nursing home you as the landlord are responsible for the Council Tax. We send you the bill.
Tell us about a tenancy change
Please help us to reduce unnecessary paperwork, costly phone calls and visits by telling us about tenancy changes immediately. This will let us provide a more efficient service to you and your tenants by sending correct bills, and awarding discounts and exemptions promptly.
Telephone us with the information on 01782 715500 or our online form.
We need landlords to:
- Inform us of all changes in tenancy when they happen (or within 21 days of the change)
- Give the full address of the property that is tenanted including the flat / apartment number, street name and postcode
- Give the exact start and end dates of tenancies
- Details of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished
- Give the full names of each tenant; initials are not sufficient we require the full name and title
- Give the previous and forwarding addresses of your tenants
- Provide a copy of the tenancy agreement at the start of the tenancy
- Give a contact phone number in case we have any questions we need to ask you
Although you may think it unnecessary for you to provide this information, the law does require you to give it so that we can see who needs to pay the Council Tax and how much the charge should be.
Please be aware that we can fine you if you do not provide the information we ask for within 21 days of the request.
Usually we will only consider backdating a change in our records for more than 21 days if there is a good reason why the information being provided is late and we can confirm that the information is correct. To confirm a backdated tenancy we would require a verifiable tenancy agreement, proof of the tenant’s identity, evidence of a tenancy deposit scheme receipt, utility bills in the tenant's name and for the relevant period, external residency checks that support the residency and verifiable contact details for the tenant. In these circumstances a landlord may also need to sign a declaration – in doing so you will be acknowledging that the information provided is accurate and are aware of the sanctions of supplying false information.
Due to the amount of administration it takes for registering students for council tax, the decision has been taken to register the council tax account for a property fully occupied by students, in the landlord’s name with effect from the start of the 2020/21 academic year.
A student exemption will be applied to the account where all occupants are students. This is on the assurance that as a landlord you will inform the authority if any of the occupants cease their course at any time during the year.
The exemption applied to the account will be reviewed each September, by way of issuing you with a form to provide the student’s names and signing a declaration that your property is still occupied by full time students.
Page last updated 18 August 2021