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If you are a renter, most of the time, you will pay the council tax. However, this isn’t always true and there are some uncommon situations where you won’t be responsible for covering this important bill.
How much you pay will depend on the area you live in, as different places have different rates. Council tax is split into different bands in the UK, indicated by a letter. ‘A’ is the cheapest council tax band, while ‘H’ is the most expensive.
Council tax is collected by your local authority and goes towards paying for important local services, like street cleaning, lighting, rubbish collection, libraries and sports centres.
If you’re over 18, you’ll usually pay council tax, whether you own or rent your home.
You don’t have to pay if you’re a full-time student and everyone in your home is also a full-time student.
If you’re an apprentice who earns £195 or less a week, you won’t pay council tax.
If you’re the only adult in your household, you’ll get a 25% discount.
Most of the time, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to pay council tax when renting. While some landlords might include bills in your rent, if you rent a property, the council tax bill is usually in your name.
The bill covers your whole household, so if you live with a friend or partner, you’ll get one council tax bill for both of you. If you’re both named on the lease, both of you are liable to pay council tax, but the total amount will stay the same.
You’re also responsible for the council tax bill if:
Make sure you get in touch with the council as soon as you move in. Council tax runs for 10 months of the year (April to January) and you can usually pay monthly. It’s possible to split the cost over 12 months of the year if you prefer.
There are some occasions where a landlord will pay the council tax when you’re renting:
If you’re struggling to pay, make sure you contact the council as soon as you can to discuss your options. If you need independent advice, speak to an official support service, like the Citizens Advice.
Remember, there are circumstances where you might be due a discount, like if you live alone, you’re a student, or if someone living in the property is disabled. And if you’re really struggling, you might be entitled to a council tax reduction.
If you are on a low income or claim benefits, you may be able to have your council tax bill reduced (up to 100%). The size of the reduction will depend on where you live, your income and how many people live in your household.
Don’t just let council tax bills go unpaid. Make sure you get help as soon as you can.
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