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Essential website maintenance

This weekend the following services will be unavailable from 4:30pm Friday 23 Jan: Where I Live, Check your bin day, Find my nearest and all pages with maps on. Services will be back online by 8am Monday 26 Jan. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Rented properties and the Council Tax

This page provides information on council tax that will be useful to both tenants and landlords. More information is also available for landlords on the related page Council Tax Information for Landlords.

Tenants have to pay council tax for the property they rent if it’s their only or main home (their 'sole or main residence').
If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HIMO), the owner will usually be responsible for paying.

Properties that are classed as a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HIMO)

As a general guide, we would usually class the following residences as a HIMO:

  • an ordinary house turned into bedsits, each having a kitchen area, but there is only one bathroom that everyone shares
  • a rented property where the tenants rent a room each
  • a rented property where the tenants have separate tenancy agreements
These are examples only and there may be other types of property which meet the definition of a HIMO.

For more information about the exact definition of a HIMO in the council tax regulations and, information about what we take into account when working out whether a property is a HIMO see the document ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ in the documents section.​​​

What if the property is not my main or only home but my tenancy agreement is for more or less than six months?

If the property you are renting is not your only or main home and your tenancy agreement is for six months or more, you will still have to pay Council Tax for it.

If the property you are renting is not your only or main home and your tenancy agreement is for less than six months, the owner will be responsible for paying.

For more information on how we decide if a property is your main residence see the related page “How your sole or main residence affects your Council Tax.” 

What happens if I move out before the end of my tenancy agreement?

If it’s a tenancy agreement for six months or more, the tenant will usually have to pay Council Tax up until the official tenancy end-date (unless someone else moves in before then). However, if they are on a periodic tenancy agreement (sometimes called a 'rolling tenancy'), they won’t – the owner will be responsible.

Please note that from 1 April 2013, full Council Tax is payable for a home which nobody lives in (unless the property is unoccupied and unfurnished for 7 days or less, in which case a 100% discount can be granted for the unoccupied period but only if the unoccupied period is after 1 April 2014). Please see the document “Unoccupied rented properties” for further help.

What if the property is shared by two or more tenants?

If they are joint tenants on one joint tenancy they will be jointly liable for the council tax. If the tenants are on separate tenancies the property will be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation and the owner will be liable to pay council tax. Joint tenants are not responsible for just a share of the amount payable each – they are all liable for the whole amount of council tax.