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Council tax is a cost that tends to come as a surprise to those relocating to the UK. When discussing housing requirements with a client, budget is an obvious question. Most clients have considered utility costs such as water, gas and electricity (although may need advice on potential charges) but have not considered council tax charges which can increase costs considerably – up to £3,000 per year for larger or more expensive properties. Council tax is paid by householders or tenants (it is paid by landlords in some rare cases)

What is council tax? Council tax is a local tax collected by local authorities otherwise known as councils. Councils are local government bodies covering a distinct geographical area and locally we have, for example. Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, Trafford Council, Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Each council sets its own council tax across eight bands A to H; A being the cheapest band and H the most expensive. Each property has been allocated a band based on a historical value and it is possible to look up the band if you have the postcode of the property (https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands).

As an example, here are the council tax costs payable in Trafford this year. Trafford is a popular choice for families with school age children as it is consistently one of the best performing education authorities in the U.K. Trafford council tax charges are usually slightly lower than the surrounding areas.


Annual Cost 2016/17


















Having been made aware of council tax, most of those relocating want to know what is it for. What is it for? The council use it to pay for local services such as schools, rubbish collection, roads and street lighting.

There is probably no need to get bogged down in the detail of council tax. If you are relocating to Manchester, or anywhere else in the U.K. you have enough to consider (all of which we can obviously help you with!). The important point for those relocating to the UK is that it needs to be paid and to factor it in to calculations for housing costs. We will advise the council tax band and subsequent cost of each property you view during a home search.