Skip to main content

List of cases when landlord is liable to pay Council Tax:

  • rental property such as flat of house where landlord lives together with a tenants, for instance, share rent
  • short rent lettings or holiday lettings, less than 6 months
  • rental property is considered to be HMO where each tenant pays his own utility bill separately
  • empty and unoccupied property, but landlord may have a 100% local discount just for one month. This discount replaced Council Tax class C exemption that let landlord avoid paying tax within 6 month and it was actual till 2013
  • if a property has been empty and unfurnished for over two years then councils can apply a long term empty premium that may be addition 50% or more percentage of ordinary council tax bill.

Tenant who rents a property under AST tenancy for 6 months or more is liable for paying council tax bills.

garage and bike

List of landlord’s and tenant’s question in respect of council tax

  1. Who pays council tax if tenant moved out before the tenancy contract ends?

Till the tenancy agreement ends tenant has a legal obligation to comply with all his terms even if he decides to move earlier. In cases when tenants move earlier before the end of fixed term he may ask a landlord to refund the paid tax in case of another tenant will be found till the end of term.

As for periodic tenancy and situations when tenant moved without proper notice the Court of Appeal in Leeds County Council and Broadley held that tenant who abandoned a property is liable for Council Tax till the last day of the proper notice period. Nevertheless, Leeds City Council wasn’t agree with this decision and then applied for permission to appeal. Till this judgment will not be contested, tenant is liable for Councils tax if he decided to leave the property without proper notice.

  1. Who pays for council tax if there is a joint tenancy?

In case of joint tenancy, each tenant’s name may be placed into the Council Tax bill, but if one of the joint tenants fails to pay, then the other is still liable for tax.

  1. Who pays for council tax if rental property is the second home for tenant?

Even if the letting property is a second home and tenancy agreement is AST with a term more than 6 months tenant must pay council tax in both his home. However, city council may apply own rules in respect of exemption or benefit for individuals living in two homes. Thus, second home policy should be clarified at local council department.

  1. Who pay council tax if landlord retain garage, store room or loft?

Council tax responsibility was stated by the Local Government Finance Act 1992 Section 6 where the tenant is liable for Council Tax in case of long term AST tenancy, but nothing noted about retaining some part of property by the landlord.  Thus, if such rental agreement has a clause in respect of garage, store room or another part of property that was retained by a landlord it wouldn’t remove the tenant’s Council Tax responsibility in the wording of the long-term tenancy. Nevertheless, tenant and landlord may negotiate proportion of paid tax via rent reduction or other way. Thus, such conditions will be kept only between Landlord and Tenant rather than local council or tenant/landlord.

Useful links: