Market analysis from Ocasa, the specialist rental platform, reveals that the cost of the average council tax bill in England is equivalent to 17.7% of a tenant’s rent bill. For the hardest-hit renters, this rises to 37.5%.
Rising inflation, interest rates, and living costs mean that renters are bracing themselves for hard times ahead, as many landlords start to increase rent prices in order to cover rising mortgage rates.
On top of this, the majority of tenants are also responsible for paying the council tax bill on their rented property. In England, the average council tax bill is £164 per month. With average rent sitting at £926 per month, this means council tax costs the equivalent of 17.7% of rent.
Regionally speaking, council tax is hitting tenants in the North East the hardest. The average council tax bill in the region is £175 per month, equivalent to 30.3% of the average regional rent bill which currently stands at £577.
In the North West, average council tax bills of £171 per month equate to 25.3% of rent and the same is true in the East Midlands where council tax costs £172 per month.
Council tax as a percentage of rent is also higher than the national average in Yorkshire & Humber (25.1%), the West Midlands (22.6%), and South West (19%), while renters in the East of England (17.5%), South East (16.3%), and London (8.7%) are paying less than the national average.
When analysing the nation at local authority level, it’s revealed that the tenants whose council tax bills equate to the largest percentage of rent are those in Hartlepool, County Durham. Here, the average monthly council tax bill is £183 which is equivalent to 37.5% of the local average rent bill (£488).
It’s the same situation for tenants in Burnley, Lancashire where an average council tax bill of £179 is also equivalent to 37.5% of rent (£479).
Tenants in Middlesbrough are handing over the equivalent of 37.3% of rent, while renters in Pendle (36%), Hyndburn (35.5%), County Durham (35.1%), North East Lincolnshire (34.9%), and Redcar & Cleveland (34.7%) are also dealing with expensive tax.
At the other end of the scale, London tenants are enjoying the lowest price of council tax versus rent. Renters in the City of Westminster are paying an average monthly council tax bill of just £72 which is equivalent to 3.1% of the average monthly rent price of £2,359.
In Wandsworth, council tax of £73/month equates to just 3.7% of rent, while tenants in Kensington & Chelsea (4.2%), the City of London (4.8%), Hammersmith & Fulham (5%), Camden (7.5%), Southwark (7.5%), and Tower Hamlets (7.6%) to name just a few are paying well below the average for council tax as a proportion of rent.
Sales and Marketing Director at Ocasa, Jack Godby said, “This research makes it glaringly obvious that those tenants who can afford to pay the highest rent are being gifted with below average council tax bills, while those who live in the most affordable locations are being saddled with the most expensive tax.
Is it fair that the wealthiest people are paying the least council tax while the hardest-up are paying the most? It certainly doesn’t seem so, but the government will argue that public services in the wealthiest areas are under much less strain – and therefore require less money to operate – than in those places where the population relies more heavily on government-funded assistance.
The result is a vicious cycle in which those with the least advantage become even more disadvantaged. As the current cost of living crisis becomes more entrenched, more people are going to have to turn to public services for help. And this comes at a time when the government is already expected to increase council tax rates.”