What is Council Tax and How is it Applied to Expatriate Housing?

    Jan 05, 2018 @ 07:10 AM / by Tobi Howell

    London, United Kingdom as seen during AIRINC's recent on-site survey.

    Council Tax and Your Expatriate Housing on Assignment

    As expatriates assigned to the United Kingdom search for rental housing, they often ask about Council Tax. While it can seem confusing at first, there are numerous online sources that explain what Council Tax is, how it is applied, who pays it, and when it should be paid.

    What is Council Tax?

    Council Tax is a tax on domestic property in England, Scotland, and Wales. This is a Band-based system assigned by property value and the tax is a fixed amount per band.

    What is included in Council Tax?

    Local services like trash collection, schools, street lighting, etc. are funded through Council Tax. In Scotland, Council Tax also covers water and sewerage.

    Are tenants required to pay Council Tax?

    Yes. If there is a fixed-term lease for six months or longer the tenant is responsible for the Council Tax.

    How is Council Tax handled for International Assignees?

    Council tax cannot be calculated as a percentage of rent and because of this, AIRINC is unable to provide estimated costs and does not include it in our rent or utility budgets. As it is standard practice for tenants to pay the tax directly to the local Council, the recommended approach is for employers to reimburse the assignee directly for this expense.

    Want to learn more about Council Tax?

    • The City of London’s website outlines banding information throughout the city.
    • This website supplies England and Wales Council Tax Banding info by address.
    • This website supplies Council Tax information by Postcode.
    • Wikipedia has a great deal of helpful background information on Council Tax.


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    Topics: Expatriate Housing, United Kingdom, Insights and Experience, Council Tax

    Tobi Howell

    Written by Tobi Howell

    Tobi is the manager of expatriate housing at AIRINC. As manager of the housing team since 2008, Tobi leads AIRINC’s group of housing analysts in client inquiry response, spearheads proactive global communications to clients, and directs the quarterly release of housing and utility data for hundreds of locations.