Council Tax – Do you know the rules?

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  • Council Tax – Do you know the rules?

When renting a house in Brighton Council tax is paid to your local council. This is for the delivery of local services. You must pay where people live permanently in a domestic property.

How much it is will depend on the council tax band for your property. You should always check with them that it will cost.

Who is liable to pay council tax?

It payable by anybody who is over 18. It is payable if you own or rent a home. There are some exceptions to council tax, but all local authorities are different.

The exceptions can be as follows:

  • Empty homes
  • Nursing homes and other similar homes
  • Homes of religious communities
  • Houses in multiple occupation
  • Residencies of staff who live in houses which are also occupied by the employer.
  • Residencies for ministers of religion

Am I entitled to a reduced bill for council tax?

Each council has their own tax system to support vulnerable groups. You may be entitled to a discount. All the discounts are different for each authority. The main council tax reductions are normally for students. However, to see if you are eligible for a reduction look at the government website here.

Student housing in Brighton where everyone is a full-time student may not have to pay council tax. A full-time student means somebody has a course for at least one year. They must study 21 hours of study per week. It must be a qualification up to A Level you must work a certain number of hours. Your course must last at least three months. It must involve at least 12 hours per week.  There are exemptions. Such as students, spouses or dependents who are not registered. They may be prevented from the terms of their entry visa in taking paid employment or from claiming benefit. You need to check with each individual authority. Brighton council can be checked here.

Full-time student.

If you are a full-time student, you may get a discount. If you share a property with one or more people who are not full-time students, you may not. You may then need to pay the council tax bill. You should look at the local authority rules. If you are not a full-time student but share a property with one or more working people, then please check. You may be entitled to qualify for single person discount which is 25%. Halls of residence for students are exempt from council tax. Where the property is owned or managed by an educational establishment.

There may be times when you are not studying you may have to pay council tax. This is during non-term time. You should check with the local authority. All local authorities are different.

Are you currently looking for Student accommodation in Brighton? Call us today to find your perfect student property 01273 724000.

Other categories who do not have to pay are:

  • Armed forces
  • If you have moved into a care home or hospital
  • People who are living with somebody able to receive care and live-in carer.
  • People with severe mental impairment
  • Diplomats
  • Potentially bankrupt
  • People detained or imprisoned.

There are property-based exemptions for example:

  • Death of a sole occupant and probate. When the property becomes empty after the death of the owner. The property can be exempt from council tax. This depends on if it remains unoccupied until probate is granted.  When probate is granted a further 6 months’ exemption is possible. This depends on the property remaining unoccupied. However, this depends on if the property is not sold and transferred to someone. The full council tax may be due by the Executors at the end of this period.

Another exemption can be a repossessed property. Where a property cannot be occupied. This could be for planning restrictions. And council tax may not be due. Prohibited by law for example is unfit for human habitation. Unoccupied because of statutory action to prohibit occupation. Or a compulsory purchase.

  • Unoccupied properties owned by charities.
  • Empty property for the clergy
  • Empty caravan and boat moorings

There are also council tax discounts which are as follows:

  • Single person discount. This is based on two adults living at home, adults who are 18 or over. You can get up to 25% off the bill if you live on your own.
  • Disregarded people. You will usually get 50% if nobody is living in your home. People under the age of 18. 18- and 19-year-olds who have just left school. Full time students. Student nurses. Youth training and apprentices. You should always check.

For further information we have written a previous article where utility bills and council tax are explained –

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