Do I Have to Pay Council Tax?

Ways to Save on Council Tax

There is an old saying, there are two things we cannot avoid, death and taxes. And one of those taxes is Council Tax.

For the majority of us, we pay Council Tax, even as a tenant you pay it, the tax is not included as a part of your rent, although in some shared housing or HMO’s (houses of multiple occupations), the Council Tax may be included as a part of the rent.

And Council Tax is considered a priority bill, a bill that is to be paid each month just like rent. Some Councils charge the tax on a 10 month basis, some on a 12 month basis, but either way, it is to be paid.

As to the consequences of not paying your Council Tax? These can be quite severe and harsh, more local authorities use Bailiffs than almost anyone else. The threat of Bailiffs knocking at your door is a strong impetus to pay the tax.

Unfortunately, local Councils this time of year announce any changes in the tax, which as you can probably guess, is being raised by most authorities. The Councils receive less funding from the Parliamentary level, so they need to make up this lack of funding, and one way to do so is to increase Council Tax.

So to answer the question, do you have to pay Council Tax? Yes, you do, but there are ways to minimise what you are required to pay, if you fit into some of the reduction categories.

Ways to Save on Council Tax

Council Tax has been around since the early 90’s, and to many, it is antiquated and needs to be changed/reformed.

Our properties are placed in a Band based on their valuation, and the “tax” is then assessed for each Band.

The problem is that property values were last assessed in 1991, which is what….28 years ago!

Many properties have appreciated or gone up in value since then. So you may think we are being done a favour, no increase in property value, no increase in Council Tax.

However, someone living in a small flat, may find themselves in the same band as someone who owns a semi-detached house, which on the surface and even beneath, does not seem fair.

However, there are a few ways to get a reduction and save on paying Council Tax.

Sole Occupancy Discount: I you live alone, you can get a 25% discount on your Council Tax. This is called a Sole Occupancy Discount.

On Benefits/Hardship Reduction: If you are receiving any benefits, or have been made redundant, you may be eligible for Council Tax support, or a reduction in what you are required to pay for Council Tax. The reduction can be quite substantial, and if you are not working and/or are receiving benefits, you need to explore this option.

Student Exemption: If a property is occupied solely by students, then there is an exemption to pay Council Tax. The key here is, only occupied by students.

Vacant Property Discount: If as a landlord one of your properties has been vacant for six (6) months, you can apply for a discount. The degree of discount you may receive will vary according to the different Councils.

Holiday Home Discount: If you own a holiday home, which is not your primary residence, some Councils offer a discount on Council Tax for these. You need to inquire with your local Council.

If you feel you are paying too much in Council Tax, you can always challenge your band with the Council.

Much can happen to a property over the years, and your property may be in the wrong band, and by challenging this, you almost have nothing to lose. There are no new valuations, and it is a small percentage who challenge the bands that see an increase.


There are some properties that can be exempt from Council Tax, those are:

* The property is empty due to a death

* The property is owned by a charity

* All those who reside there are under the age of 18 (unsure how that works)

* All those that reside there have “severe mental impairments”, I am assuming like a care home

* It is the resident of Diplomats

* The property is a “granny flat” or in-laws suite, where a dependant relative resides

So we do have to pay Council Tax, but there are some ways to reduce what we pay, or possibly be exempt.

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<strong>What is Our Criteria For Applying?</strong> 
Every lender on our website has their own specific criteria by the basics are mentioned below and you must have a guarantor to be eligible. Simply select the lender of your choice and you will be taken directly to their website where you can apply. You will be required to submit your details including:<li style=”text-align: center;” data-mce-style=”text-align: center;”>Name (must be over 18 as the borrow, 21 or 25 as the guarantor)</li><br /><li style=”text-align: center;” data-mce-style=”text-align: center;”>Residence (your chances will improve if your guarantor is a homeowner)</li><br /><li style=”text-align: center;” data-mce-style=”text-align: center;”>Employment status (must be employed or on a pension)</li><br /><li style=”text-align: center;” data-mce-style=”text-align: center;”>Income (earning at least £600 per month and able to make repayments)</li><br /><li style=”text-align: center;” data-mce-style=”text-align: center;”>Monthly expenses (not have too many loans open or in major debt)</li>
You will then be asked to include the details of your guarantor and as mentioned above, this is usually someone who you know and trust and wants to help you with your personal finances. Ideally, a guarantor with good credit will maximise your chances of being approved based on the idea of ‘if someone with good credit trusts you, well we can too.'<strong>How Much Can I Borrow From Guarantor Loans?</strong>Guarantor Loans gives applicants the chance to borrow £500 to £15,000 depending on the lender. Some lenders we feature like Buddy Loans only have a maximum loan value of £7,500 and TFS Loans is the only lender that stretches up to £15,000.Factors that can influence the amount you can borrow revolve around having a good guarantor. One that is a homeowner, with solid employment, income and good credit rating will maximise your chances of borrowing the largest drawdown possible.The lenders featured on Guarantor Loans see a homeowner as someone who has already gone through the rigorous process of credit checking and affordability and if they can afford a house, they should be able to act as a guarantor for you.By comparison, having a guarantor that is not a homeowner offers slightly less security and means that amount you can borrow is slightly less too.Higher amounts may be available to those who already have a better than average credit rating, are homeowners themselves and a repeat customer with the lender who has already paid their loan on time. To apply directly with your lender of choice see <a href=”” data-mce-href=””>direct lenders</a>.<strong>What Does The Guarantor Have To Do?</strong>Upon completing an application, the lender will typically send you a <a href=”” data-mce-href=””>pre-contract loan agreement</a> and SECCI (Standard European Consumer Credit Information form) which will highlight the terms of your loan. You and your guarantor will be required to review the terms of the loan, including the loan drawdown, fees, repayment dates and responsibilities – and this can be signed via an online verification process using your email and mobile phone.The lender will usually carry out an individual phone call with you and your guarantor to ensure that you both understand the responsibilities and what is required of you – notably that if you cannot make repayment, your guarantor will be required to pay on your behalf. Further to some additional credit and affordability checks, funds can typically be transferred within 24 to 48 hours (or sometimes on the same day).<strong>Are Guarantor Loans Available For Bad Credit Customers?</strong>Yes, even if you have a history of adverse credit, <a href=”” data-mce-href=””>CCJs</a>, bankruptcy or IVAs several years ago, you can still be eligible. The idea is that you are using your guarantor and their financial history to ‘back you up’ and give your loan extra security. However, it is noted that your guarantor should have a good credit score and consent to co-signing your loan agreement.<strong>How Soon Can I Receive Funds?</strong>Guarantor Loans works with lenders that can facilitate funds within 24 to 48 hours of approval, or sometimes on the same day.When your funds are successfully transferred, most lenders working with Guarantor Loans will send the full amount to the guarantor’s debit account first. This is a standard security measure carried out by lenders to ensure that the funds are going to the right person and confirms the involvement of the guarantor. The guarantor usually has a ‘two week cooling off period’ where they can decide to pass on the money to the main borrower or they can change their mind and return the funds with no extra charges.