What you need to know about Council Tax and Moving House

council tax bill

When Moving House, Council Tax is one of the many things to consider that can often get forgotten. However, if you let this happen you could find yourself paying council tax on a property that you are no longer living in. You should also consider paying Council Tax after Moving House. The council will send reminders but there can be serious consequences if this is not paid.

Council Tax is collected by the local council for the services provided in your local area. This can include waste collection, emergency services and local projects like parks or education. The amount of council tax you pay is based on the value of your property along with the location and your personal circumstances. The amount can also differ between various councils.


 Who Pays Council Tax

In the UK, the majority of tenants or homeowners will pay council tax. There are some exemptions that are granted by the council though. These can include:

  • Full-time students
  • Under 18s
  • Anyone on apprentice schemes
  • Individuals living in armed forces houses

There are also certain council tax discounts depending on individual circumstances. Some examples of these can include a 25% discount for single adult household. There is also a 50% council tax discount for those with a second home or an empty property.


Uses of Council Tax

As briefly mentioned above, Council Tax is generally used within the community. Each local council has various priorities on how the money is spent, depending on how much funding is received by the government. Councils do not solely rely on tax for funding, the government also provides a certain amount, this can influence how much council tax you pay in your area.

Some of the areas that tend to get the funding from Council Tax include town maintenance or rejuvenation, education, social care and other public services. This can include:

  • Record keeping and administration e.g., birth, deaths, marriages, elections.
  • Environmental trading standards
  • Leisure and recreation projects

Depending on how your council spends its funding, you may end up playing a vital part in your local economy with your council tax contribution. But how much is this contribution? We understand that when moving house, you want to be aware of the amount you are paying once you’ve bought a property.


Council tax bands

To get an idea of how much you are likely going to be paying in council tax, you can check which band your new property falls into. The bands differ in thresholds for the value of the property and determine how much you pay depending on your council.

There are online resources that allow you to check your council tax band through entering your post code. You could also calculate the band manually based on the previous value of the property from 1991. This system is used to make council tax a fair system throughout inflation. This means newer properties are still calculated for their value as if they were built in 1991.

The value of your property can be determined through the Nationwide House Price Calculator. Based on the value of your house in 1991 you can compare it to the Council Tax bands below to determine which category you fall into. The bands increase in cost from A to H

  • A: Council band A of up to £40,000
  • B: Council band B that’s between £40,001 to £52,000
  • C: Council band C that’s between £52,001 to 68,000
  • D: Council band D that’s between £68,001 to £88,000
  • E: Council band E that’s between £88,001 to £120,000
  • F: Council band F that’s between £120,001 to £160,000
  • G: Council band G that’s between £160,001 to £320,000
  • H: Council band H that’s more than £320,000

Based on the calculation process, if you are looking to purchase a property for £250,000 the value of the house in 1991 would have been £140,000. Therefore, your council tax would be in band F. This system remains the same for new-build properties. No matter what price the property is, a valuation for 1991 can be calculated to give you an estimate of the likely council tax band you will fall into.

You will be given your band by the council once you register at your new address. They will also tell you the exact amount that needs to be paid across the year. Council Tax band calculations are simply for those who are interested in which band they will likely be in for Council Tax, once they Move House.


How and When to Cancel Council Tax

Cancelling your Council Tax is an important task when Moving House. However, it is a task that is often forgotten. Save yourself from being charged that appropriate by cancelling your council tax in time.

The process is fairly simple. All it takes is contacting your local council and then you can cancel the direct debit or payment that is set up for your account.

Below you will find a guide on cancelling your current tax and setting up in your new home


Cancelling Council Tax

To cancel your Council Tax before Moving House, the first step is usually to check your council websites. They will detail the best method for cancelling your account. This will likely either be through your online account, calling them up or completing a form.

You will likely be asked to provide you current address as well as the address you are moving to. They will probably also ask for details of everyone who is eligible to pay tax within the property. You will then receive your final bill and potentially receive a refund if you are in credit on your account.


How to Start Paying Council Tax

When you have moved into your new address, check you are eligible to be paying council tax. Remember there are discounts for single person properties or second homes. You must pay Council Tax if you are an adult, not in full-time education.

To start paying Council Tax after moving house you must register with the local council for your new address. They will then likely send you your first bill.

Within the new bill you’ll find instructions in how to pay your account. Occasionally you can setup an online account and make payments via this, or through direct debit.


How Council Tax is Calculated

Once you have registered to pay council tax for your new address you will be sent an amount to be paid annually or in intervals throughout the year. The amount you pay differs depending on our council. Usually, the amount paid can depend on various factors associated with your property, this can include:

  • Location
  • Character
  • Use
  • Layout
  • Size

There are also considerations made for the payment amount based on the funding that the council receives from the government. This can determine whether you pay higher or lower amounts than your previous council tax amount.



Moving House is certainly a busy time and Council Tax is definitely one of the items that tends to be missed off of movers to do lists. It is a vital part of the process that needs to be completed however. Forgetting to cancel previous council tax can leave you paying for a property you are no longer living in. Putting off setting up your new council tax can leave you with back dated bills or more serious consequences. Our suggestion is to check out our Moving Checklist to keep track of all the important details and necessary changes that must be made for a successful move.