How to Cancel Council Tax When Moving House

Everything You Need to Know About Cancelling Council Tax When Moving Home

how to cancel council tax

How Do I Cancel My Council Tax When I Move House?

cancel council tax

We get it – moving house is super stressful. Your to-do list is endless, with one must-do item after another. One such task when moving house is to cancel your council tax. 

Unless you have some sort of council tax exemption, it is essential that you notify your local council of your house move so that they can cancel your council tax payments. You will then need to transfer your council tax to your new local authority. 

Cancelling your council tax when moving house will ensure you’re paying the right amount for the correct property. If you fail to cancel your council tax when your address changes, you could be left open to potential fines. 

Therefore, knowing how to cancel council tax when moving house is incredibly important. So, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve put together this helpful guide that explains exactly how to cancel council tax when moving out of your home

The good news is, the process of cancelling council tax when moving house isn’t as complicated as it might first seem. But, there are a series of steps you need to get right when it comes to cancelling council tax. 

So, let’s get right to it!

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What is Council Tax?

Before we jump into how to cancel council tax when moving house, what actually is council tax?

Council tax is a tax that is charged by your local government, and is charged by everyone who lives in the area. It was introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the unpopular Poll Tax and is based on the market value of your home.

Council tax is calculated from the value of your property using a series of council tax bands. The higher the band, the more expensive the property is for local government authorities to provide services. There are a total of eight valuation council tax bands in England and Scotland, ranging from “A” (the highest) to “H”. 

How Do I Cancel My Council Tax When Moving House?

When you’re moving house, you will need to inform your local council that you’re changing address.

If you don’t cancel your existing council tax, there are a number of problems that can occur. Therefore, it is important to know where and when you’re relocating to ensure you notify the council on time. 

To avoid the mayhem of administrative work and long queues at the council office, you should try to start the process of cancelling your council tax as soon as possible. 

You’ll need to head over to the office of your local council to fill out all the paperwork, including information like what address you can be contacted at once you’ve moved, as well as the dates of moving house.

Depending on the waiting list, it could take up to several weeks to process your application to cancel your council tax.

That’s why it is so crucial that you cancel your council tax at least one month before moving out of your home. That way, you won’t be obliged to pay council tax for a house you no longer own or live in. 

If you’re moving within the same administrative area, the process of cancelling council tax will likely be a bit easier.

However, if you are moving to a different district, you’ll also need to remember to register with your new local authority and set up new council tax payments.

How Do I Register with My New Local Council?

cancel council tax

So, now you know how to cancel council tax when moving house, how do you set up council tax payments in your new home?

Before you cancel your council tax, check whether your current local authority covers your new address too. This might be the case if you’re not moving too far away and, if so, means your council tax account will be updated for the new property. 

However, if you’re moving into a different area, then you will need to register with your new council to set up payments. Your new council tax account will be based on the property you’re moving into.

Within a few days of your moving date, you should receive a bill from the new council based on how the property has been assessed for a specific tax band.

Make sure you look closely at the band you’ve been assigned to and contact the council immediately if you think it’s wrong. You don’t want to end up paying too much or too little.

How Long Does it Take to Transfer My Council Tax When Moving?

Completing all the paperwork to cancel your council tax and transfer it to a new authority should only take 10 minutes or so. However, actually updating your details and transferring your payments will likely take a lot longer.

Overall, it’s safe to say that the process of cancelling council tax when moving house and transferring your payments to a new council could take about 4 weeks.

You should note, however, that there are certain times of the year when cancelling your council tax might be much quicker. For example, when the council’s workload is slightly less or when fewer civil servants are on holiday.

The best thing you can do to make cancelling council tax run as quickly and as smoothly as possible is contact your council as soon as you know you’re moving house.

They will be able to give you more information about when you should cancel your council tax and how long it will take.

When Should I Start the Process of Cancelling My Council Tax?

The safest approach to cancelling your council tax when moving house is to start the process as early as possible. We would advise contacting your local council around one month before your moving date. This will allow plenty of time for possible waiting periods or delays. 

The main reason you need to cancel council tax when moving house so early is to avoid an overlapping period. If this happens you will have to pay the overlapped council tax and then try to claim it back later down the line.

What is a Council Tax Overlap When Moving House?

cancel council tax

When you move from one administrative area to another and forget to notify the authorities or do so too late, you may end up with overlapping council taxes and receive two separate bills.

If you have moved out of your previous property and the taxes have overlapped, you will need to contact the council from which you’ve moved out. Explain your situation and tell them that you weren’t living in the property. They should know what to do.

However, if you own the house you’re moving out of and leave it empty, you will have to pay up to 50% of the council tax for that empty property.

Can I Get a Council Tax Refund if I Move?

Yes, you can get a council tax refund if your account ends up in credit after you move or if your council taxes overlap. This most commonly occurs when people are under time pressure to move out, or when they have left it too late to notify their local authority.

The local council will have all the details on file, and if you have paid a tax bill that covers a period beyond your moving out date, you can apply for a council tax refund.

What Information Do I Need to Transfer and Cancel My Council Tax?

So, we know how to cancel council tax when moving house, but what do you actually need to do so?

Before you start the process of cancelling your council tax, make sure you know what information you’ll need. Here’s everything you’ll need to cancel your council tax when moving out:

  • – Your name and telephone number for contact.
  • – The postcode you are moving to/from.
  • – An existing account number, if you have one.
  • – The date of your move.
  • – If you are a tenant, the end date of your tenancy.
  • – Whether the housing is unfurnished or furnished.
  • – The date of moving furniture in or out.
  • – Names and address of any solicitors acting on your behalf.
  • – The name of the owner of the property or the name and address of the landlord/agent, you were renting from.

How Do I Work Out My New Council Tax Rate?

Congratulations! You’ve successfully cancelled your council tax and moved house! But, how do you find out what your new council tax rate is? 

Not to worry – we’ll tell you! Once the tax band for your new property has been calculated, your account will reflect how much you need to pay each month. 

However, before you start paying every council tax bill you receive in the post, take the time to double-check the selected band and ensure it’s correct. You can challenge any council tax band you don’t believe to be correct.

The Bottom Line: How to Cancel Your Council Tax

We get it – moving house is stressful enough without having the hassle of updating your council tax details and cancelling your council tax payments. Unfortunately, however, it is a necessary part of moving home.

You really don’t want to end up paying council tax on more than one property – with all the expenses involved in moving, this is one you can easily avoid.

So, as soon as you know when your moving date is, make sure you take the time to cancel your council tax.


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“Brilliant! I notified my water company, the council, and my gym straightaway through this. Pretty impressive!”