Council tax is one of the biggest monthly expenses for a lot of people, so knowing how to cancel it when moving house is extremely important so you don’t end up paying more than you should.
In this guide, we’re going to share exactly how to go about cancelling council tax as well as the factors that will affect how much you’ll pay going forward.
Before looking at how to cancel council tax when moving home, let’s first cover what it is exactly.
Council tax explained
Council tax is a monthly tax that you pay based on the band that your property is in. Council tax replaced poll tax in 1993 and pays for a variety of local services, including bin collections, parks, street repairs and schools. The main thing that affects the amount you pay in council tax is the value of your home.
What steps do I need to take to cancel council tax?
- Get in touch with your local council – The main thing you need to do when cancelling council tax is get in touch with your local council. You should go to their office and they’ll provide you with the paperwork you need to start the cancellation process. You’ll also need to inform them of the details of your new home, including the address and how to contact you.
- Provide plenty of notice – Cancelling council tax isn’t an instant process and can in fact take weeks. Because of this, it’s very important that you give plenty of notice when you need to cancel your council tax so you don’t end up paying longer than you should.
What information do you need to provide?
Although cancelling council tax on your former house isn’t too complicated, it’s important to know which pieces of information you need to provide.
Below are the pieces of information you’ll need to cancel council tax –
- Your name, address and telephone number
- The date you’re moving out
- The address you’re moving to
- Your landlord’s contact information
- The name of the person the new property is under
- Your council tax account number
How much will my new council tax be?
What you’ll pay in council tax will depend on a few factors, the main ones being –
- The value of your home – The value of your home is a big factor that affects how much you pay for council tax. Typically, the higher the value of your house, the more you’ll pay in council tax.
- The area you’re moving to – Another big thing that affects how much you pay for council tax is the area and band you’re in. Property falls into one of 8 bands in the UK, being categorised from A to H. Properties in Band A are those that are valued up to £40,000 going all the way up to Band H for properties that are worth £320,000 or more. Properties may be put into different bands if they’ve been recently demolished and rebuilt among other things.
- Any exemptions – There are people who are exempt from paying council tax. Some of the most common reasons for exemption are if you’re under 18, are in full time education or you’re a full-time carer for somebody who isn’t related to you.
How to register with your new council
Once you’ve cancelled your current council tax, you’ll then need to set it up for the new property you’re moving to. If you’re not moving far away, then you might not need to register with a new council, although you’ll still need to inform your council of the property change.
If you’re moving to a whole new area, then you’ll need to register with the council. After registering, you should receive a bill within a few days that shows the tax band you’re in and how much you’ll pay each month.
How to cancel council tax when moving abroad
If you’re moving to another country outside the UK, then the process for cancelling your current council tax is the same. What the process is for setting it up for your new home will depend on the country you’re moving to.
Other things to do before moving house
- Inform companies of your address change – Another important thing to take care of before moving home is to inform companies of your new address. This includes things like credit card companies, online retailers and your bank. It’s also important to inform any insurance providers, particularly your house insurance and car insurance providers.
- Organise boxes – It’s also a good idea to organise your boxes before moving. By simply labelling them, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress when you’re unpacking later on.
- Book a removals company – Another thing you need to do before moving house is book a removals company. How much it costs will depend on the company you hire and how large your house is.
Council tax FAQs
How much notice should I give when cancelling council tax?
You should give at least one month’s notice when cancelling council tax. Depending on the time of year and how busy your local council is, it can take weeks for your cancellation to be processed.
Am I exempt from paying council tax?
You may be exempt from paying council tax if the following criteria applies to you –
- You’re under 18 years of age
- You’re a full-time carer for somebody not under 18 who isn’t related to you
- You’re a full-time college or university student
- You’re a student nurse
- You’re a diplomat
- You’re severely mentally impaired
How much will my new council tax cost?
The cost of your new council tax will depend on the value of your home and which band it falls into. UK properties are banded by letter from A to H, with A being the lowest value properties that pay the least council tax and H being the highest value that pay the most.
How long will it take to transfer my council tax?
Filling out the paperwork to transfer your council tax to your new home doesn’t take long at all; Usually around 10-15 minutes. However, for it to be fully processed and the new payment to be set up, it could take up to four weeks. This is why it’s important to contact both your current and new council as early as possible.
There are times of the year when the process might be quicker but in general, it’s a good idea to give as much notice as you can.
Will I be eligible for a refund when I move?
This depends on whether there’s any overlap when you move. If there is and your account is in credit, then you’ll be able to apply for a refund. This most commonly occurs when people wait too long to inform the council that they’re moving. If you give at least a month’s notice before moving, then everything should go smoothly and it’s unlikely you’ll need to claim a refund due to an overlap.
You can also claim council tax rebate in some cases.
Hopefully, you’re not much better informed when it comes to cancelling your council tax when moving home. Although the process can take a while, it’s not that complicated and once it’s set up, you don’t need to do anything other than make sure you have the money to pay it each month.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.