My tenant has left the property before the end of their tenancy - are they still responsible for paying the council tax?
The tenants will usually be liable to pay the council tax on their rented property, although exceptions and discounts can apply. If the tenants are all students then they will receive a full exemption and if there are some students and non-students living together a discount will be applied to the whole bill.
If the property is left empty between tenancies then it will usually be your responsibility as the landlord to pay the council tax for unoccupied period, however if the property is completely unfurnished as well as empty then many councils will allow an exemption for up to 6 months. If the property is vacant but furnished then the council may also apply a 50% discount off the bill for the unoccupied period.
If the property is empty because a tenant has left before the end of their fixed term agreement then they will liable for all council tax up to the date that their agreement was due to terminate or the date that the property is re-let.
You must ensure you notify the council of the period in which the property is occupied, and becomes unoccupied in order to ensure the council tax is recorded correctly. It is likely that you will need to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement if any queries arise to prove who was in occupation and for what period.
23rd January 2017
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