Who is liable to pay council tax?

To determine if you are liable to pay council tax, work from the top of the table below. When you reach a category that applies to you, and you are aged 18 or over, this will indicate that you are liable to pay council tax on your property:

Resident Owner/Owners Do you both own and occupy your property? You are liable to pay council tax
Resident Tenant/Tenants Do you currently occupy your rented property? You are liable to pay council tax
Resident Licensee Do you currently occupy your licensed property? You are liable to pay council tax
Resident of a property Do you occupy a property which does not fall into the categories above? For example, squatting.

Does no one else occupy the property who would fall into the categories above?
You are liable to pay council tax

In the case of married or unmarried couples living together, both persons will be jointly liable for paying the council tax bill. People who are joint owners or joint tenants are also jointly liable for the council tax bill. In both of these cases all liable parties will be jointly and severally liable to pay the council tax bill, this means that each party is liable for the whole council tax charge, and not just their share of the charge.

In the case of an unoccupied property the liability for council tax would fall to either the owner/tenancy holder/current licensee of the property. However you may qualify for an exemption or discount for these empty periods.

The owner is also liable for certain prescribed classes of dwellings:

Class A Residential care homes, nursing homes and some hostels
Class B Properties lived in by religious communities (such as monasteries and convents)
Class C Properties occupied by residents who only hold a tenancy to occupy part of a dwelling
Class D Properties which are not the owners main home, but are the main home of someone whom the owner employs in domestic service
Class E Properties lived in by ministers of religion
Class F Properties provided to an asylum seeker under Section 95 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999

Contact details

Local Tax

If you have an enquiry about council tax, send a message to the Local Tax Team.

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