Rates on rental properties

The person responsible for paying rates on rented property depends on the property's capital value, net annual value or if it’s a house in multiple occupation. Some tenants can get Housing Benefit to help pay their rates. Land & Property Services can recover a tenant's unpaid rates from the landlord.

 When the landlord pays rates

A landlord is responsible for rates if:

  • a domestic property’s capital value is £150, 000 or less
  • a non-domestic property’s net annual value is £1,590 or less
  • the property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) 

House in multiple occupation

A HMO is a property rented to three or more tenants from two or more families.

When the tenant pays rates

If a rental property’s value is over £150, 000, the tenant is responsible for rates unless their landlord has agreed to pay the rates. A landlord can pay rates on a property regardless of the capital value. 

Landlords with tenants receiving Housing Benefit Rate Relief

Tenants can receive full or partial Housing Benefit Rate Relief to help pay their rates.  The Housing Executive  can pay this directly to:

  • the tenant
  • the landlord
  • Land & Property Services (LPS)

Most landlords are responsible for collecting and paying rates. The landlord is responsible for any unpaid rates if:

  • a tenant's Housing Benefit Rate Relief doesn't cover their rates
  • the Housing Executive reclaims Housing Benefit Rate Relief

If the rates are unpaid, LPS will recover rates from the landlord.

Paying a tenant's Housing Benefit Rate Relief to their landlord

If you think your tenant is entitled to Housing Benefit Rate Relief, contact the Housing Exceutive. You can ask the Housing Executive to pay your tenant's Housing Benefit Rate Relief to you. 

Landlords with tenants receiving Rate Rebate

Tenants in private rented housing can receive full or partial Rate Rebate to help pay their rates. LPS credits a tenant's Rate Rebate to the rate account of the property where they live.

Most landlords are responsible for collecting and paying rates. The landlord is responsible for any unpaid rates if:

  • a tenant's Rate Rebate doesn't cover their rates
  • LPS reclaims Rate Rebate from the rate account

If the tenant is responsible for rates, they'll need to repay any Rate Rebate overpayment. 

Landlord rating accounts 

There are two rating accounts for landlords with rental properties, Article 20 and Article 21. Article 20 account applies to a landlord if their rented domestic property:

  • has a capital value of £150,000 or less
  • is a house in multiple occupation

A landlord with an Article 21 account:

Adding a property to an existing rate bill

To add a rental property to their landlord portfolio, a landlord with an Article 21 rating account must write to:

Land & Property Services
Central Landlords Team
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks
Belfast
BT1 3LP

Reporting a change of ownership

When a property owner changes, you must tell LPS immediately or you'll get a rate bill for the property.  A landlord with an Article 20 rating account should telephone LPS to report the changes. A landlord with an Article 21 rating account must give LPS a copy of their solicitor's letter showing:

  • date of the sale
  • new owner's name and contact details or their solicitor or estate agent's contact details

Rating of empty homes

Rates are due on all empty properties including rentals.  There is four per cent early payment discount for rates on empty properties. 

Domestic rates on rented houses or flats 

Capital value responsible for paying rates
£0–£150,000  owner (landlord)
£150,001 and above occupier (tenant)

To find the capital valuation of your property, go to:

Business rates on shops or non-domestic properties

Net annual value (NAV)  rent payment responsible for paying rates
£0–£750 any frequency owner (landlord)
£751-£1,590 monthly or weekly (less than quarterly) owner (landlord)
£751-£1,590 quarterly or longer occupier (tenant)
£1,591 and above monthly or weekly (less than quarterly) occupier (tenant)

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