Moving house requires a whole lot of planning and preparation. From the conveyancing and the surveying to the removals and packing, on top of all the other important admin tasks. But, one essential moving-house task that many people tend to forget is to sort out their council tax.
One of the first things you should do when moving house is notify the Local Authority so that you can register for council tax at your new address. Whether you rent or own your property, you will need to pay council tax.
However, understanding exactly what you need to do with your council tax when moving home can be difficult. Thankfully for you, we’ve put together this handy guide that explains everything you need to know about changing your address and registering with your new Local Authority.
Council tax is a tax on residential property that your local council uses to pay for services in the local community like schools, rubbish collection, roads, policing, fire services, park maintenance and street lighting.
How much council tax you pay depends on the market value of your home. There are eight council tax bands, with people in Band 1 paying the least, and people in Band 8 paying the most.
Whether you rent or own your home, the majority of people over the age of 18 living in Britain will have to pay council tax.
When you move out of your current home, the local council should send you a final bill which will be taken as a monthly payment. Then you’ll get an annual bill for the property at your new address.
If you’re moving within the same area, you will be paying the same local authority. This means that you can use the same direct debit arrangement to pay your council tax. But, if you choose to move to a totally new area, you’ll need to set up a new account.
If you own the home that you’re moving out of and it’s empty when you leave, you’ll have to continue paying council tax on it – although, this will be a reduced rate. Alternatively, if you’re currently renting and leaving that property, you are no longer responsible for the council tax there.
You’ll need to notify the Local Authority of where you’re moving from and where you’re moving to in order to cancel your council tax.
You will find a ‘change of address’ page on the Local Authority’s website. All you need to do is fill out the form, including all the forwarding addresses for every adult on the property that pays council tax.
If you think you’re eligible for a refund due to being in credit from your previous local authority, you can apply for one when you receive your final bill – this should be within a month of your move date. You’ll want to do this in plenty of time so you don’t find yourself paying council tax for a property you’re no longer living in.