Who Has to Pay Council Tax

Liability for Council Tax depends on who is resident in the property. The person who is liable is called the Council Taxpayer. There can be more than one person liable.

The Council Taxpayer will normally be someone aged 18 or over whose main home is the property and is one of the following:

  • Resident Freehold Owner
  • Resident Leaseholder
  • Resident Tenant
  • Resident Licensee
  • Resident
  • Non-Resident Owner

Put simply, the Council Taxpayer will be the resident(s) who either owns or rents the dwelling. The non-resident owner will be liable for the Council Tax if the dwelling is no-one's main home. If there are less than 2 adults resident (18 years or over) a discount may apply.

For information on discounts and exemptions use the links on this page.

Joint and Several Liability
Where adult members of the same household (ie: freeholders, leaseholders, tenants etc.) have an equal interest in their dwelling, they are jointly and individually liable to pay the whole Council Tax bill for the property. Husband and wife, or couples living as such, are also jointly and individually liable for the whole Council Tax bill.

In all circumstances where there are two or more people liable for the same Council Tax bill, it is in the interests of these residents to come to some amicable agreement about how to pay.

Owner Liability
The owner, rather than the resident, is always liable in the following circumstances:

  • Residential care homes and nursing homes
  • Houses in multiple occupation (HMO's)
  • Dwellings occupied by a religious community
  • Dwellings inhabited by live-in staff employed in domestic services
  • Residences of ministers of religion