London Property News

Council tax is Not a Stress: Dealing with Council Tax in the UK

Council tax is not a stress.

How to Deal with Council Tax in the UK

 

Every person who lives in the UK is entitled to pay various personal taxes, including income, inheritance or council taxes. The latter one seems to pose many questions among people with regards to things, such as who pays and how much. If you are a landlord and letting your property to someone else, then you do not have to worry about a council tax, which relates to a property you are letting. However, if you are a tenant, then it is your responsibility to pay council tax. The following article will explore crucial aspects of what a council tax in the UK is, how, when and where to pay it and other things that may affect it.

What is a council tax?

Council tax is a particular amount of money a person pays monthly instalments or for the whole year in one go, depending on the wish and capability to pay. The money collected goes to local services, for example, road maintenance or rubbish collection. It was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which aim was to replace poll tax, which was based on a flat-rate per-capita tax, set by the local government, on every adult who lived in a property.

Who pays it?

  • Every adult who is over 18 and either owns or rent a property is entitled to pay;
  • If there are more than 2 people living in the same property, then the full bill should be paid. Spouses and partners who live together are conjointly responsible for payment.

You can see a list of people, who do not count as adults when it comes to council tax payment.

Discounts.

There is a possibility to get a discount, if you fall under the following conditions:

  • 25% off, if a person is over 18 years old and lives on their own in a property;
  • 25% off, if a person is over 18 years old and others in a property do not count as adults;
  • 50% off, if those who live in a property do not count as adults.

Other discounts and exemptions.

  1. If those, who live in a property, are full-time students, including you, then you can apply for an exemption, which means that you are not entitled to pay any money.

    Full time students are those, who:

    • Study more than a year in an educational establishment;
    • Study at least 21 hours per week.

    Qualifications up to A level require a person to study:

    • More than 3 months;
    • At least 12 hours per week.

    If there is someone in a household, who is not a full-time student, then a council tax should be paid, but a household can apply for discounts.

  2. Also, there is a band reduction scheme for disabled people. In this case you will need to show that you or other person needs extra space in a property for:
    • Extra bathroom, kitchen or room for a disabled person;
    • Using a wheelchair inside the property.
  3. You can also claim discounts, if your income is relatively low or you seek benefits.

How much?

In order to identify how much your council tax bill stands for, you need to keep in mind the following things:

  • The valuation band of a property in England and Wales or in Scotland;
  • The fee the local council charge for that particular band;
  • Any discounts or exemptions from the full bill.

The valuation band.

The property price band is a category under which a property can fall under after being assessed. It usually varies between A-H, where A is the cheapest one, and H is the most expensive segment.

NB The valuation bands vary between England and Wales and Scotland.

Local council charges.

Local councils in various areas may charge different amounts of money for property price bands.

Discounts and exemptions.

Discounts and exemptions were discussed earlier in this article. Please refer to the relevant section in this article to find out more.

Moving in/Moving out.

Whether you move in to a new property or move out from an old one, you need to notify your local council so that they can put this into their system. If there is another person who is moving in together with you, you also have to notify your local government, so that this person is added to your council tax account.

So, to sum up, a council tax is not a scary thing, if you know how to deal with it. And hopefully, this article has answered some questions you may have had, as here at Robert Manning, our main aim is to share our knowledge with our customers and shed the light on the situation. If you are thinking to rent a property in London, do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 203 725 8399 or email us, as we know what we are doing and keen on delivering high standard service.

Picture: credit to BBC – read an article to be updated.