How do I Cancel my Council Tax When I Move House?
Moving to a new house comes with a variety of administration.
Dealing with solicitors, removal companies and getting your utility bills sorted are all top priorities for moving home. Council Tax is generally one of the most significant household bills, so ensuring it is in order in a timely manner is imperative.
What is Council Tax?
Council tax is a bill that is payable on most domestic properties across the UK. It covers local authority services such as education, fire services and waste collection.
Council tax is calculated on a ‘banding’ system. Each property is assigned a band which correlates to a properties value from 1991. Properties built more recently are given a band based on what the value would have been.
The council tax bands range from A-H, with the latter being the most expensive.
Council tax is not payable on purely business properties, where business rates will be expected instead.
How do I Cancel my Council Tax?
If you are moving to a property within the same authority, the transition should be relatively straightforward. Your direct debit will be simply transferred to the new property, with any ’empty periods’ being billed separately.
If you are moving to a different area of the country, you will need to contact both councils separately.
When you contact the council you are moving from, you should inform them of the date you vacate the property and the date you have completed the sale, or ended the tenancy. This is because some authorities continue to bill for the period that the property was empty. They will then issue you with a closing statement, advising of any payment owed, or any refund you are entitled to.
You will then need to contact the council where you are moving to. Advising them of the date you have moved in, and the date you purchased the home or started your tenancy.
At this point, you can also submit direct debit details if this is your preferred payment method.
You can register these changes on your council’s ‘change of address’ section on their website. With regards to your new home, they will likely ask if you are entitled to any of the discounts they offer.
I Think My Council Tax Band is Wrong
There may be instances where you believe the band your property is in is incorrect. If you think you are paying too much, you will need to contact the Valuation Office, who will arrange a property review.
They will conduct an inspection, considering the property’s location, size, and value from 1991. You should be aware that your property’s band can be adjusted in either direction, so if the Valuation Office deems appropriate, they can increase the band.
Will my Council Tax be Backdated?
Council tax departments are often extremely busy, and it can sometimes take several weeks for them to process your information. This means contacting them as soon as your moving dates are confirmed is very important.
It can be tempting to avoid contacting the authority immediately, to miss out on a few months of payments. However, the council tax will be backdated to the date you moved into the property.
If this happens, the monthly instalments will be drastically higher than they would have been if they were spread over all of the available months.
Are Council Tax Discounts Available at my New Property?
Council tax offers a range of discounts for various reasons, many of which are not evident from the offset. Be aware that rules, regulations, and values will vary between districts and councils.
Do I get a Single Person Discount on my Council Tax?
As the name suggests, this discount is available for people who live on their own in a property. This discount stands at 25%, so it makes a huge overall difference to your annual bill.
However, be aware that if you have a partner who spends multiple nights at your home each week, this may affect your discount, so check with your local authority.
Can I get Student Discounts and Exemptions on my Council Tax?
If the property is filled with full-time students, it may be the case that the property is exempt from paying council tax at all. If just one adult remains in the property who is not a student, they will likely be awarded the same discount as a single person.
The council tax department will require certificates from the university and details about the property itself before giving any reductions.
In addition to the two mentioned above, there is a range of other discounts available. Be sure to thoroughly investigate your local authority’s offerings, as you might find there are significant savings on offer.