Moving house can be very stressful. There are so many things you need to keep track of before you leave your old house and arrive at the new one. But, one important thing that may slip your mind is to cancel council tax at your old house and set it up at your new one. Full-time students are typically exempt from council tax, but if you live with non-students, or are studying part-time, then it’s an incredibly important thing to do as if you forget, you may have to pay council tax twice, which no one wants! So if you are paying council tax and need to know how to cancel it when moving house, keep reading! 

What is council tax?

what is council tax and how to cancel it

An important question to start, what is council tax? Well, council tax is an annual fee that you’ll pay to your local council that goes towards funding local services like police and fire services and infrastructure maintenance. The amount of money you pay depends on the circumstances of the house’s residents, which band it is in (A-H, A being the lowest) and how much the council needs to fund its services. There are exemptions and discounts available for students and disabled people, but we’ll get into that later. 

How to cancel council tax

how to cancel council tax

So how do you cancel it? Well, it’s pretty simple.

You need to go to your local council office to fill out the paperwork. Among other things, you’ll need to provide your new address & contact details as well as the dates of moving house. So much fun, right? But, the fun doesn’t stop there. If you’re moving to a different local council, you also have to register with your new council. The process is easier if you’re moving within the same council as you may just be changing bands, but it is still important regardless. 

Or, you can usually cancel council tax online. Each local authority provides its own online platform for this purpose. Simply refer to your latest council tax bill for the specific details. Typically, you’ll require your Council Tax Reference number to access the portal.

When should you cancel council tax?

How to cancel council tax when moving house
Source: University of Exeter

If you’re moving house for the first time, it can be pretty stressful to try to deal with all the little things that need doing, including cancelling council tax. Therefore, it’s best to notify the council as soon as possible – it can take time for them to process things. If possible, you should start your application at least one month before you move. But, the best course of action is to let them know as soon as possible. That way, you don’t leave it to chance. 

For students

What are the benefits of living in student houses for non-students?

If you’re a student in a house full of students, then you don’t pay council tax anyway. Therefore, none of this applies to you. If you live with someone who isn’t a full-time student, you’ll still have to pay, but this will be a discounted rate because there are still full-time students on the property. But, you don’t need to worry about any of this yet. It’s good to know for the future, however. You can find out more about paying tax as a student in our guide.

So, for most students, knowing how to cancel your council tax is something you can just save for later. But if you’re a part-time student or living in a house that pays council tax, you’ll need to get on this when you move out to avoid ongoing payments. Luckily, it’s pretty simple though.

Moving out of home is a big step in life. Check out this checklist of everything you need when moving out.