England Landlord Guidance

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1.9 Council Tax

In self-contained flats or houses, the tenant is normally liable for Council Tax. Landlords should inform the Council Tax section of the local authority in writing whenever someone moves in or out of their property, or if it is empty.

If the property is empty, the landlord will normally be liable for Council Tax, but local authorities can offer discounted periods where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished. These discounts (if any) vary between local authorities. For example, some offer one week at 100% discount followed by six months at 40% before the full amount becomes payable. Others offer longer 100% discount periods such as one or three months but on the other hand, some don’t offer any period of discount whatsoever.

Where a property is unoccupied but a tenancy is still ongoing for example as a result of abandonment or, during the period whilst a tenant moves to a new property after giving notice, whether the landlord or tenant remains liable depends on the status of the tenancy whilst the property was unoccupied. Advice should be sought but as a minimum, there must be a tenancy in place which was granted for at least six months and (where the tenancy is beyond the fixed term) has continued as a contractual periodic tenancy for the tenant to be liable in these circumstances.