Information for landlords and agents

Information about council tax liability for landlords and agents

If you are a landlord please use the form below to tell us about a tenant moving in to or out of a property. If you are a managing agent you can also use the forms, but where the landlord details are requested you should enter the actual landlord's name and address not your own agency details.

Report a change of tenant 

Landlords and managing agents need to tell us about tenancy changes so we can send accurate Council Tax bills quickly.

As a landlord, there are two circumstances when you can be charged for Council Tax:

  1. when the property is empty
  2. if the property is a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

If you have received a bill because we believe the property is empty and you have tenants, you must tell us as soon as the change occurs.

If you are a landlord renting out a property, the responsibility for paying council tax depends on what sort of letting arrangement you have.

When is the tenant responsible?

The tenant(s) are responsible for the Council Tax when you rent the whole of the property to one person or family, or to joint tenants. In these circumstances we send the bill to your tenant(s).  

When is the landlord responsible?

As a landlord you can be liable for Council Tax on your rental property either because it is unoccupied or it falls under a special set of classes described by the Council Tax liability for owner regulations.

In most cases a landlord will be affected by these regulations when a dwelling is designated as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). For Council Tax, an HMO is a property which is occupied by persons who do not have a right to occupy the entire property. This usually means that the property is let under multiple tenancies or licenses.

If your property is an HMO, you don’t need to inform us when tenants move in and out of the property. You only need to tell us about a change if the whole property becomes unoccupied or if rent out the whole property under one agreement to tenant/s.

My property is empty so why do I have to pay Council Tax?

As a landlord you can become liable for Council Tax if your rental property is unoccupied, that means it is no one’s main residence and there is no material interest in the property other than your own.

A material interest is a freehold interest or a leasehold interest entered into for a period of at least six months. So if you have a tenant on a twelve month contract and they terminate their tenancy without your agreement before the end of that period then the tenant will continue to be liable for Council Tax until the end of the tenancy, or until you take possession of the property, whichever date is the earliest.

Where a tenancy is allowed to continue after a minimum six month period, it does so either on the basis of it being a statutory periodic tenancy created following an assured shorthold tenancy or by a continuation clause within the tenancy.

Where a tenancy has reverted to a statutory periodic tenancy then these are considered to be a new tenancy and in most cases the tenant will not be liable for Council Tax after they cease to live in the property as their main home.

Where the tenancy contains a continuation clause after an initial period of at least six months then the tenant would continue to be liable for Council Tax until the date that the surrender of the tenancy has been accepted or the date that you have retaken possession of the property, whichever is earlier.

Please note that this advice is only in regard to the operation of Council Tax, it is not legal advice as to how you should write tenancy agreements.