Everything You Need to Know About Council Tax When Moving House

10 Jun 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Council Tax When Moving House
If you’re planning on moving house then you will no doubt have plenty of things to think about and sort out before your moving date.

Putting all the paperwork together can be a nightmare and you will, of course, have to pack up all of your belongings. But there are plenty of other things that you will need to consider too when moving house, such as the possible change in council tax. But this can be confusing and you might be left wondering if you are actually in the right council tax bracket in your new home. We have put together a guide to explain everything you need to know about council tax before moving out.

How Can I Calculate Council Tax?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions but unfortunately, it doesn’t actually have a simple answer. This is because council tax is calculated based on the value of the property but it’s not based on current figures. Council tax is still calculated based on the value of the property in 1991, which can be very difficult to work out or obtain. This means that most of the time when you are comparing your council tax band you are working on averages rather than exact figures. One great tool is the house price calculator from Nationwide, that can give you a good estimate of historic property value.

List of Council Tax Bands

Once you have the estimated value of your property in 1991, you can now assess whether or not you are in the correct tax band. Council tax bands are different depending on whether you live in England, Scotland or Wales, as property values vary greatly in these regions. However, we have highlighted the council tax bands in the UK below, so make sure you check if you are moving to a different country.

Property Value 1991

Tax Band

Annual Council Tax

Up to £40,000



£40,001 - £52,000



£52,001 - £68,000



£68,001 - £88,000



£88,001 - £120,000



£120,001 - £160,000



£160,001 - £320,000



More than £320,000




If you are staying in the same area then you can use the same direct debit you were paying to the council before, even if you change tax bracket. If you are moving to a new area you will receive an annual bill and need to set up a new direct debit. You also need to let your local authority know you are moving around a month before you actually do so.

Does Everyone Pay Council Tax?

Not everyone is eligible to pay the full amount of council tax and you could actually be eligible for discounts depending on your situation. This ranges from exemptions for those in military accommodation up to discounts for people living on their own. We have listed all the reasons for council tax reductions below;


Discount Percentage

Single Person Occupancy


Only One Adult Occupant


Empty Property

Up to 50%

Second Home

Up to 50%

Part of Apprenticeship


Full Time Student


Property is Derelict


Disabled People

Means Tested


There is a whole range of reasons for any one of the requirements above, for example, the property might be empty during renovation or you might be a single parent. But there are exemptions for all of these so get in touch with your local authority if you think you are due an exemption.

Can I Challenge My Council Tax Band?

It is possible that your home was incorrectly valued in 1991 and your property is now in the wrong tax band as a result. If you have done the test using the calculator and notice a significant difference is estimated value to the tax band you are currently in, then you can challenge your tax band with the local council. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will assess your property within a few months and but you should think carefully before challenging. This is because if you are on the edge of a tax band, the valuation could find you are actually in too low a band as well. You will then be left paying more each month for your property.

Make sure you do your research before moving into your new property so that you know exactly how much you will be paying when you move out. It is important that you factor this into your monthly expenditure to ensure that you can keep up with the mortgage payments and living costs on top of this. If you have your moving date then why not get in touch with Bishop’s Move today to organise a removal van for the big day?