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Council Tax information for landlords

Landlord responsibilities relating to Council Tax. 

Tell us about a change in tenancy  

You will need:  

  • tenancy end and/or start date 
  • full name of the tenant(s) moving out and/or moving in 

If you have sold or bought a property

If you are a landlord and have sold a property you don't live in you can tell us about the change of ownership.

If you are a tenant and moving 

If you are a tenant and are moving, you can tell us about a change of address.  

Housing benefit payments online 

View your housing benefit payments online with a My Plymouth account.  

Responsibility for paying the bill 

Who is responsible for paying the Council Tax bill. 

Tenants who have a tenancy agreement of six months or longer 

Tenants are responsible for the Council Tax bill while they are living in the property. 

If they leave the property unoccupied before their contract runs out, they are responsible for the bill until their tenancy agreement ends, or another tenant starts a new contract. 

If the tenant moves out after their original term ends they will only be liable for their notice period if the tenancy agreement specifically states that the Assured Shorthold Tenancy continues with the same terms after the initial period. If the tenancy does not state this then the tenancy agreement becomes a rolling Statutory Periodic Tenancy and the landlord will be held liable for any period where the property is empty. 

If the property remains unoccupied, the landlord is responsible for the bill until there is a new tenant. 

Rolling tenancies 

If the tenant has moved onto a rolling tenancy, they will continue to be responsible for the Council Tax bill while still living in the property. 

If the end of the agreed period of notice has been reached and no new tenancy agreement has begun, the landlord will become responsible for the bill until there is a new tenant. 

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)  

A property is a HMO under Council Tax rules if either: 

  • the tenants each rent a room, often with its own number and lock, and share a kitchen and possibly a 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 built, or adapted, to be lived in by people who do not form a single household, for example a house turned into bedsits with a shared kitchen and locks on the bedroom doors 

This definition is different to HMO registration and is only used to work out who is liable for Council Tax. 

Who should pay 

If a property is classed as a HMO, the owner is responsible for the Council Tax bill, not the tenants. 

HMO student discounts and exemptions 

All student tenants 

If all the tenants in a HMO are full-time students, the property will be exempt from Council Tax. 

Student tenants with one non-student 

If all except one of the tenants in a HMO are full-time students, you may be able to get a 25% discount. 

There is no discount if there are two or more people who are not full-time students. 

How to claim a discount or exemption 

The person named on the bill at the property needs to claim the discount or exemption

Contact us 

Use the landlord contact form if you are a landlord or letting agent and you need to get in touch with us about Council Tax.