Council Tax … change to how we treat liability at the end of a tenancy.

This is a quick update on Council Tax liability when a tenancy ends. As you probably know, there is no longer an exemption for empty properties. Landlords are normally liable to pay the tax on an empty property until a new tenant moves in.

However, we might still charge the former tenant, if they move out during the term of an Assured Shorthold tenancy, without the landlord’s agreement, until

  • the set period of the tenancy reaches its end
  • the landlord agrees to accept a premature end, or
  • re-enters the property and takes possession back.

As soon as any of these happens, the landlord is again responsible, until a new tenant moves in. However, it’s different for tenancies that continue beyond their initial term. To be technical, if a tenant stays after an Assured Shorthold Tenancy term expires, it automatically becomes a ‘Statutory Periodic Tenancy.’ Informally, this is known as ‘rolling over.’

This is the important bit: Our Council Tax Billing team now advise that if a tenant moves out at any point once a tenancy has rolled over, the landlord will liable for Council Tax, immediately. Irrespective of whether notice was given or an end date had been agreed.

We hope to put out more information about this shortly in our next edition of the ‘Bugle’ magazine for Sandwell Landlords. Please note this post is not intended as a definitive statement of the regulations.

Oliver

 

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