Information for landlords and managing agents

If you are a landlord or managing agent, you can tell us about a change in tenant, or tenancy using our online form.

Tell us about a change in tenant or tenancy

If you let your property it is important that you tell the Council Tax team straight away about any changes, providing the names of the tenants and their previous or forwarding addresses.

As a landlord or managing agent, you can tell us about a new tenant, or vacating tenant quickly and easily using our online form.

Tell us you have purchased a property

If you have bought a property that is empty, and that you will not personally occupy, you can tell us using the form below.

Tell us that you have sold a property

If you have sold a property that you used to rent to tenants, you can let us know using the form below.

Frequently asked questions

Why have I been charged empty property charges between my tenants? Is there any grace period for properties needing repair?

Unless covered by an exemption, all unoccupied but furnished properties, sometimes known as second homes, together with unoccupied (empty) and unfurnished properties, attract a full 100% charge from day one.

There is no reduction or exemption available for properties that are left vacant between tenants. This includes properties that are damaged, in need of repair, upgrading, or that you believe are uninhabitable.

If you believe your property is uninhabitable and should not be subject to Council Tax charges you can request the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) remove the property form the Council Tax list. This will only be considered in certain circumstances, as determined by the VOA.

Unoccupied caravans on a pitch are subject to a 50% charge.

My tenant still has a tenancy agreement that hasn't ended, why aren't they liable to pay the Council Tax?

In some cases, when a tenant vacates a property, despite the landlord still being able to hold the tenant to the tenancy agreement and rent payments, the landlord may still become liable to pay the Council Tax from the date the tenant left.

When a property becomes unoccupied, a 100% charge applies from day one.

Council Tax legislation states that when a property is unoccupied, the owner is the person liable to pay Council Tax on the property. For Council Tax purposes, the owner is defined as a person(s) with a material interest. A 'material interest is defined as freehold interest, or leasehold interest of at least 6 months in the property.

Most tenants are granted a tenancy agreement under an Assured Short Hold tenancy (AST). This usually gives an initial fixed term of 6 or 12 months. If the tenant vacates the property before the fixed term ends, they will be treated as the owner for Council Tax, as they hold a lease hold interest of at least 6 months. As a result they will remain liable for Council Tax until the fixed term ends, unless a new tenancy is granted to another party.

Where a Statutory Periodic Tenancy exists, (usually weekly or monthly terms) and the tenant leaves, they do not hold a lease hold interest of at least six months, as it is only a one week or month interest at a time. As a result, they are not treated as the owner of the property for Council Tax, and the person with the freehold interest would be liable. 

Where a tenant does not leave and no new agreement is given, both where the previous agreement was Assured Short Hold or Statutory Periodic, then a Statutory Periodic Tenancy automatically applies.         

There can be variations to all tenancy agreements, which means this automatic continuation under a Statutory Periodic Tenancy does not happen. This will be set out in the terms of the initial tenancy agreement, outlining what happens when any fixed term comes to an end. These are sometimes known as contractual continuations to a tenancy.

If you are unsure whether your tenant was under any fixed term, a statutory periodic or any other agreement, please check the terms set out in your tenancy agreement. 

If you think you have been incorrectly held liable for Council Tax, you do have a right of appeal. We will ask that you supply a full copy of the original tenancy agreement.

Why should I tell the Council about my tenants, shouldn't the tenant contact to register?

If you let your property it is important that you tell the Council Tax team straight away about any changes, providing the names of the tenants and their previous or forwarding addresses.

If information to register a tenant is received late and/or incomplete, then the owner of the property may be charged 100% Council Tax for the period the property was occupied, unless substantial evidence can be provided which confirms the existence of the occupiers. In such cases, the supply of a tenancy agreement which covers a period in the past might not be enough and further information may be needed from you.

To make sure you do not have any issues, we recommend you tell us as soon as possible when you get a new tenant, or an existing tenant leaves your property. This means that we can make sure the Council Tax record on your property is as accurate as possible and that your charge for any periods of liability is correct.

What is a House in Multiple Occupation? Why am I liable to pay?

In some cases, the owner of a property may be liable to pay Council Tax, rather than the people occupying it. 

The most common case where this applies, is in respect of a House in Multiple Occupation, often referred to as a HMO, or HIMO. Whilst this term also relates to housing laws and licensing, the definition of a HIMO for Council Tax purposes is different. 

For the purposes of Council Tax, a HIMO is a dwelling which:

1. Was originally constructed or subsequently adapted for occupation by persons who do not constitute a single household; or

2. Is occupied by one or more people where one of the following applies-
  • they are a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling; or
  • they have a licence to occupy, but are not liable (whether alone or jointly with other people) to pay the rent or a licence fee in respect of the whole property (dwelling).
If the Council determines that any of the above applies, the property may be treated as a HIMO for Council Tax and the owner will be liable to pay the Council Tax. 

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Last updated: 07 August 2023 10:23:47

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