Find out if a property is classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) for council tax purposes, who is responsible for paying the bill and whether any discounts or exemptions apply.
Definition of a HMO for council tax purposes
A property is classed as a house in multiple occupation for council tax purposes if it meets one of the following conditions:
- the tenant rents a room and has use of a shared kitchen and possibly shared bathroom
- the tenants are renting the whole house together but each tenant has their own tenancy agreement and pays only their own rent
- the property was constructed, or subsequently adapted, for occupation by people who do not constitute a single household, for example a house turned into bedsits with a shared kitchen and locks on the bedroom doors
Responsibility for the council tax bill
The owners of HMOs are responsible for paying the council tax bill.
Discounts and exemptions for HMOs occupied by students
What if all the people living in a HMO are full-time students?
If all the tenants in a HMO are full-time students, the property will be exempt from council tax.
What if there is a mix of full-time students and others living in a HMO?
If there is one person who is not a full-time student living in a property, a discount will apply. If there are two or more people who aren’t full-time students living in a property, no discount will be granted.
How to claim an exemption or discount
Landlords need to provide the information below before we can consider awarding the exemption or discount:
- tenants’ names
- student ID numbers
- start and end dates of students’ courses and where they are studying
We may also ask for Council tax Student Certificates.
0113 222 4404
(Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)