The Complete Council Tax Moving House Guide

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Sorting out council tax when moving house can be tricky. Depending on your new home, you could be paying a completely different amount every month. In our complete council tax moving house guide, we’ll walk you through how the council tax moving process works and who pays it.

Council Tax Energy Rebate! In response to the rising energy prices, the government has announced schemes to help those customers struggling.

Up to £350 per household to help customers manage their energy bills. £400 will be a discount off energy bills to apply in October. £150 will be a Council Tax Rebate for those households in Tax Bands A-D.

In addition, the government has raised the Warm Home Discount to £150 and launched £144 million of discretionary funding to councils.

You may also be able to take advantage of other schemes that have been set up to help customers with their energy bills. You can read about them in our Home Energy Grants and Schemes Guide.

What Is Council Tax When Moving House?

wallet with money

Council tax was brought in 1993 to replace the Poll Tax that was introduced in 1991. Council tax is a tax on residential properties that goes to fund your local council so they in turn can pay for schools, bin collection, social services, emergency services, and many other things.

Council tax when moving house might change depending where you move to within the UK and the rate you pay in England is entirely different from the rates you’ll pay in Scotland or Wales. When dealing with your council tax when moving house, it’s important to know which tax band your new home will be in and how much you’ll have to pay.

How Does Council Tax Work?

girl reading checklist

You will normally receive your council tax bill in April (the start of the financial year) that shows you how much you need to pay and which dates you’re being charged for. You then pay via a direct debit or by using a PayPoint or Payzone.

You will receive the bill as a single amount, but it is normal to pay your council tax in instalments over 10 or 12 months. This means there might be some months where you don’t have to pay! If you pay council tax, you will also have a council tax number that you can find at the top of your council tax bill. You will usually need this number to complete the council tax moving house process.

Who Pays Council Tax?

Council tax is paid by nearly everyone over the age of 18 and is either a renter or a homeowner. If you are living in a home as at least two adults, you will be expected to pay the full council tax bill. You will also pay council tax in social or council houses although this is often a reduced rate along with housing benefits.

There are some circumstances where you might be able to get a discount off of your council tax bill. If you are living alone or you are the only adult in the household, you should be able to receive a percentage off your bill:

Circumstance Amount Discounted
Living alone 25%
Only adult in the household 50%

You will need to apply for a council tax discount at your local council in order to get the percentage off. If you are going through the council tax moving house process, you need to make sure you fill in the details of your discount again.

Who Is Exempt from Council Tax?

house with money

There are some cases where you are disregarded from council tax. These are full council tax exemptions where you will not have to pay any tax. These cases apply if you’re:

  1. Under 18
  2. A full-time student
  3. In full-time education
  4. On an apprenticeship scheme
  5. Student nurse
  6. Severely mentally impaired
  7. Living in armed forces accommodation

Anyone in these circumstances are exempt from paying council tax and won’t have to pay council tax when moving house.

Can my landlord force me to pay council tax? Council tax is paid by the resident at the property and not necessarily by the owners. You will not usually have the council tax included in your tenancy agreement nor is it covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The responsibility of the council tax will be down to you. You can’t get a guarantor for your council tax if you’re struggling, but you should let your council know if you’re not able to make the payments.

Who Pays Council Tax in a House Share?

If you’re sharing a house with other tenants, the liability of the council tax depends on the type of agreement you have. If you have a joint tenancy, the person whose name is on the agreement will be responsible for paying the council tax. If you are only renting a room, the council tax responsibility falls on the landlord but this is the only time this happens.

This can cause problems with the council tax moving house process since if you are in a joint tenancy and one tenant decides to leave, the council tax burden will fall harder on the rest of the tenants who remain.

How Much Council Tax Should I Pay?

The amount of council tax you’ll have to pay will depend on which Tax Band your property is in. Every property is placed into a different band according to its value that was reported to have in 1991. The amount you pay will also depend on where you live in the UK.

What Are the UK Council Tax Bands?

There are 8 tax bands labelled from A to H, from cheapest council tax to the most expensive. Although each local council sets its own rates for the different bands, here are the property value thresholds in each country of the UK. In Wales, there is also an additional Tax Band I.

Council Tax Bands in the UK
Tax Band England Scotland Wales
A £40,000 or less £27,000 or less Up to £44,000
B £40,001 to £52,000 £27,000 to £35,000 £44,001 to £65,000
C £52,001 to £68,000 £35,000 to £45,000 £65,001 to £91,000
D £68,001 to £88,000 £45,000 to £58,000 £91,001 to £123,000
E £88,001 to £120,000 £58,000 to £80,000 £123,001 to £162,000
F £120,001 to £160,000 £80,000 to £106,000 £162,001 to £223,000
G £160,001 to £320,000 £106,000 to £212,000 £223,001 to £324,000
H more than £320,000 More than £212,000 £324,001 to £424,000
I - - more than £424,000

Sources: UK Government and Scottish Assessors Association.
Figures correct as of 16/07/2022.

How is council tax calculated? Your council tax payments will differ depending on how much your property is worth and what tax band you’re in. Your local council will usually work out your council tax payments according to a ratio or percentage and give you an annual figure based on that. Be aware that the band you’re could change if you do the council tax moving home process since the property could be worth more or less than your previous one.

Am I in the Right Council Tax Band?

Since the valuations for the council tax bands were carried out in 1991 in England and in 2003 in Wales, it is likely that many of the valuations are out of date. If you think your tax band is wrong, you can challenge the tax band you’re in and get the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to come round and reevaluate your property. Be aware that the evaluation can go up as well as down and put you in a more expensive tax bracket!

Sorting Out Council Tax When Moving House

open moving box

When moving property, sorting out your council tax can be a bit of a headache but it is really important so you avoid paying on your old property. As a general rule, changing your address on your council tax should be high up on your moving checklist.

How Do I Inform the Local Council of a Change of Address?

If you’re moving to a property in the same area, you will only need to let the local council know that you are changing your address. You won’t need to change any more details but you will need to let your local council know. You can usually inform your local council online or over the phone.

You will need the following details for the council tax moving house process:

  1. Council tax number
  2. Current address
  3. Address of your new property
  4. Contact number and email address
  5. Your moving dates
  6. Details of everyone at the property

What is a council tax overlap? A council tax overlap is where you’re liable for the council tax in two properties. This can happen with the council tax moving house process if you’ve been renting and moved to a new property and your tenancy is still continuing in your old place. This might mean that your council tax bill might have a date overlap.

Check Out Our Moving House Checklist!

Setting Up My Council Tax Moving House


When you’ve moved into your new home, among your utilities and broadband, you will need to set up your council tax again. If you’re moving within the same area, you’ll just need to change your address details and confirm which tax band your new home is in. If you’re moving out of the area, you will need to cancel your council tax bill.

If you’re moving into a new area, you will need to make sure your payment method is up to date. If you had direct debit with your previous local council you’ll need to set it up again with your new one. You will usually find a council tax moving house link on most council websites that walk you through the set up.

How To Cancel Council Tax When Moving House

If you’re moving out of the local council area, you will need to cancel your council tax bill. Each local council will have a different council tax moving house process for you to cancel but it will involve the same information as a change of address. You will need to inform the council that you are leaving at least one month before you do so they can give you your final bill.

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