You need to tell us about any changes to your circumstances so that we can ensure your council tax bill is correct.

Things you need to tell us include:

  • a new address following a house move
  • a new name (for instance, after you get married)
  • the date someone passed away (if you are dealing with the council tax affairs of someone that’s died)

We need to be told within 21 days about any changes to who is responsible for council tax at a property, or anything that might change whether you are entitled to discounts or exemptions.

If you don’t tell us within 21 days you could receive a £70 penalty charge, which will be added to your council tax bill.

If you receive a penalty but disagree with it, you should contact the council as soon as possible giving your reasons and asking for the penalty to be reconsidered.

Save time, and inform us of these changes using the instructions below.

If you are moving house

If your address is changing, you must notify us within 21 days of the change.

You can report a change of address on your online Council Tax account.

If you are no longer entitled to single person discount

Contact us using your online Council Tax account, telling us:

  • who has moved in
  • when they moved in
  • where the person moving in has moved from
  • your relationship to the person moving in (e.g. partner, joint tenant, lodger, son, daughter, parent etc)

If your name is changing

Complete our online form to inform us if your name is changing.

If you need to tell us about a vacant property

Landlords must advise us within 21 days of a property becoming vacant. Contact us using the My Portsmouth contact form, telling us:

  • the date the previous tenant moved out
  • where the tenant moved to
  • the end date of the tenancy
  • whether the property is furnished or unfurnished

If someone has moved into your student house

Contact us using the portal, telling us:

  • who has moved in
  • when they moved in
  • where the person moving in has moved from
  • your relationship to the person moving in (e.g. partner, joint tenant, lodger, son, daughter, parent etc)

If the person moving in is also a full time student studying at Portsmouth or Southampton universities, you will need to provide that person’s student ID number. If they are studying somewhere else, you will need to provide a copy of their student certificate

If someone has moved out of your student house

Contact us using the portal, telling us:

  • who has moved out
  • when they moved out
  • where they moved to
  • who remains in the property

If you are no longer a full time student

If you’ve recently graduated, switched to a part time course or are suspending your study, you need to let us know. Contact us via email

  • the date you stopped being a student
  • who remains at the property and whether they are also full time students

You can find full details of what we classify as a full time student on our student council tax FAQs page.

If someone has died

You must report a death to us as soon as possible if you’re dealing with the tax affairs of someone who’s died.

When someone dies, it may affect how much Council Tax should be paid and who pays it. Although we are advised by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages about deaths in Portsmouth, we often need more information and may need to see a copy of the death certificate.

Notify us of a death by using the online form for reporting a death, or phoning 023 9268 8588 with all the answers that apply from the following:

What we need to knowWhy we need to know
What date did the person die? Were they moved to hospital or a residential care home before they died?We can often reduce the Council Tax bill from the date someone moved permanently into a care home/hospital. If a refund is due, please let us know who should receive it.
Was Council Tax Support or housing benefit being claimed?This may affect how much benefit is paid. The details on the claim forms may also change.
Is anyone living in the deceased's house?If somebody dies and there are still two adults living in the property, the Council Tax bill will probably stay the same. If only one adult now lives there, a 25% discount is due. We may need to change the names on the bill, send out a new direct debit mandate or complete a new Council Tax support claim form. Discounts or exemptions might also be affected. If the property is now unoccupied, there is usually no Council Tax to pay while it is in the estate of the person that has died. Once probate is granted there is a further six months exemption, as long as the property remains in the estate of the deceased person. If the property remains empty and unsold six months after the date of probate or letters of administration have been granted, full Council Tax is payable (because it is an empty property). The executors or the new owners are responsible for this charge. Tell us when the property is sold and to whom. Also, if the property becomes occupied tell us who is now living there. If there has been a period of occupation which exceeds 6 weeks from the date of death, an exemption from Council Tax does not apply.
Was the home rented?If the person who died rented their home, tell us when the tenancy or lease is ended, and the name and address of the landlord. You will also need to contact the landlord straightaway if you wish to end the tenancy.
Was the deceased person a landlord or owner of an empty property?If the person who died rented out their property, or owned an empty property, let us know so we can keep our records up-to-date. Also, please let us know when the property changes hands to the next of kin or a new owner.
Who are the executors of the estate?Tell us the names and contact details of the executors, and where we should send any correspondence. If the executors find it difficult to pay any outstanding charges on the deceased estate, we can usually accept a letter from the solicitor undertaking to pay any outstanding council tax when the property is sold. Please send us a copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration because we need to know not only when probate was granted or letters of administration received, but also the names of the new owners of the property.