Council Tax for Landlords
In some circumstances, the landlord of a property is responsible for the Council Tax, while the tenant is responsible in others. The situation is also different if you are a landlord of students, depending on whether they are full or part time students.
Landlords are liable for Council Tax if:
- they live in the property with the tenants
- the property is unoccupied or empty and isn't anyone's main home
- the property is regarded as a house of multiple occupation (HMO) which means that each resident pays rent separately for their own room or part of the property, and shares communal areas such as kitchen and bathroom. Tenants in HMOs usually have individual tenancy agreements. It will also be classed as a HMO for Council Tax if you have a single tenant or joint tenants who do not have use and occupation of the whole dwelling, for example they are prevented from entering a room that you use for storage.
If a landlord is liable for Council tax, their tenant(s) can't claim Council Tax Support. However the tenant's Housing Benefit is unaffected.
Landlords of Student Accommodation
Full-time students are disregarded when calculating Council Tax. This means that if your property is solely occupied by full-time students, you will receive a council tax bill showing a full exemption.
If there are non-students living with students, there may be a discount that can be applied, not an exemption. The maximum discount that can be awarded is 25%. This is because the students are not counted for Council tax purposes, so a single non-student living with students will receive the same as if they were a single adult occupier. If there is more than one non-student living in the property, there will be no discount applied.
In Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), the landlord is liable for the Council Tax.
To claim either a discount or exemption we need to know the full names and moving in dates of your tenants. For further information on evidence requirements for students please see the student details under Discounts and Exemptions.
As long as the same students hold the tenancy agreement and continue to study the same course, the discounts and exemptions apply throughout the university holidays. If the students change or they leave their course, tell us straight away so we can review the bill.
Tell us about a tenancy change
Please help us to reduce unnecessary paperwork, costly phone calls and visits by keeping us informed of tenancy changes immediately. This will let us provide a more efficient service to you and your tenants by sending correct bills, and awarding discounts and exemptions promptly.
You can tell us about a Tenancy Change using our Online Services.
We need landlords to:
- Inform us of all changes in tenancy when they happen (or within 21 days of the change)
- Give the full address of the property that is tenanted, including the flat / apartment number, street name and postcode
- Give the exact start and end dates of tenancies.
- Tell us whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.
- Give the full names of each tenant; initials are not sufficient we require the full name and title.
- Give the previous and forwarding addresses of your tenants.
- Give a contact phone number in case we have any questions we need to ask you.
Although you may think it's unnecessary for you to provide this information, the law does require you to give it. This is so that we can see who needs to pay the Council Tax, and how much the charge should be.
Please be aware that we can fine you if you do not provide the information we ask for within 21 days of the request.