Moving house is a hugely exciting time, but it can be stressful. There are so many jobs to take care of, and if this is your first move or you haven’t moved in some time, you might be surprised at the amount of administration work involved with the process.
As we are now in or moving towards a digital era, the process of updating your address and informing relevant parties of your move should be more straightforward. Of course, we all know that things that should run smoothly don’t always go as planned in the real world.
Thankfully though, help is at hand. Just as removal companies help you take care of the physical act of moving; this guide will hopefully assist house movers with tasks such as updating your council tax records and informing companies of your change of address.
What is Council Tax?
Hopefully, you are aware of what council tax is, and why it is in place, but if not, it is helpful to receive a reminder.
Your council tax, which is a tax on residential properties, goes to your local council and funds services like:
• Local schools
• The collection of rubbish
• Maintaining roads
• Maintaining local parks
• Maintaining street lighting
• Funding fire services and policing
Council tax has been in place since 1993, and the level of tax paid by a person or household relates to the market value of their property.
Of course, while council tax is linked to the market value of a property, it is payable by households whether they own the home or are renting.
Your local council will be able to inform you of how much council tax you should pay, and how to set up your payments.
Should I inform the local authorities of my move?
With so much going on, it is easy to see why some house movers hold off (or forget) to inform their local council of their move. There is also a school of thought that doing so will delay your payments to the council.
However, if the council ends up contacting you about your move, there is an overlap in the tax you owe, which will likely cost you more money. Also, if you have delayed payments when moving to a new property, there is a chance you will have an initially higher fee as the council seeks backdated payments.
Therefore, it is best to be proactive and inform the council of your move in advance of moving home.
There should be a change of address page on your local council website where you can update your details. Doing so in advance of your move removes one task from your list of jobs, and it should minimise the amount of money you end up paying.
What happens with my council tax when I am moving house?
When you move from your current address, you should receive two things:
1. A final bill for the property you have left and is commonly taken as a monthly payment
2. Notification of the annual bill for council tax in your new property
If you remain in the same local authority jurisdiction, the process should be straightforward, but anyone who has dealt with local authorities knows that issues can arise from time.
When you leave your current address, the local council will send you a final bill taken as a monthly payment. If you are in credit for council tax at the property you leave, you can request a refund. Then you’ll get an annual statement for the property at your new address.
If you are remaining in the same local area, your existing direct debit agreement should suffice, and your payments should continue as normal.
If you move to a new area under a different council, you must set up a new direct debit agreement. The process will be similar to what happened when you set up your current council tax payment, and there will be guidance on your local authority website if required.
If you’re staying in the area and will be paying the same local authority then you can use the same direct debit arrangement. If you decide to live in a new area then you’ll need to set up a new account.
Arranging the cancellation of your current council tax payments and setting up new payments sounds difficult, but the process is simple. It can be carried out online, but if you require assistance, you should be able to attend the relevant local council office and receive guidance in person.
Who else do I need to inform when moving house?
While informing local authorities of your new address is vital when moving home, however, it is not only the local council you need to contact. There will likely be other organisations you should inform about your move too, including:
• Your employer
• The DVLA, if applicable
• The electoral roll
• The Department of Work and Pensions, if applicable
• Any clubs or organisations you are part of
• Anybody where you have a subscription membership, including having newspapers or magazines delivered
• Broadband, phone, cable, or satellite provider
• The TV Licence department
• Any vehicle breakdown cover provider, if applicable
• Any insurance company
• Schools or further educational bodies, and this applies to all relevant parties in your household
• Medical providers such as doctor, dentist, optician or even vet
• Financial institutions such as banks or building societies
• Local service providers such as cleaners, gardeners, window cleaners
• Utilities providers
Set Up Mail Redirect Service With Royal Mail
You should also inform the Royal Mail of your house move. There is a mail redirect service that some people find handy. If you are concerned about missing out on mail or aren’t sure you have informed every one of your moves, this service will see any mail delivered to your old home redirected to your new house.
Also, when you are moving, make sure you inform removal companies of your former house, so they know where to attend and of your new address, and they know where to take your belongings! Your house movers will remind you of this, but it never hurts to be fully prepared.
Dealing with council tax, updating your address, and moving house are vital steps in taking the next step in life. We hope this guide has helped you with most of your questions about moving house and council tax. If you need a checklist to help you oraganise your tasks of who to notify of the change, check out our blog post here – Change Of Address Checklists.
If you need any advice on moving house or you would like price your move, you can call us on 023 9298 5830 and we are more than happy to help you.