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Who should pay Council Tax?

Only people aged 18 or over have to pay Council Tax, If there is more than one person aged 18 or over in your home, the person highest in the following list is responsible for paying Council Tax:

  • resident freeholder, for example owner occupier
  • resident leaseholder, for example owner occupier who is paying ground rent
  • resident statutory or secure tenant, for example housing association or private tenant
  • resident licensee, for example the landlord of a public house who lives on the premises
  • other resident, for example a squatter
  • non-resident owner when the property is not occupied.

Joint and several liability

There are many occasions when two or more persons will be jointly liable to pay Council Tax. These persons can have joint ownership or tenancy, or are married or unmarried couples.

If one of these persons is a student or is severely mentally impaired, then they would not be made liable for Council Tax and a discount may be available. 

View information on Council Tax discounts

When is the owner liable?

There are occasions where the owner will become liable for council tax. These are as follows:

  • resident care homes, nursing homes and bail or probation hostels
  • dwellings occupied by religious communities, for example convents
  • houses in multiple occupation, for example bedsits that share cooking/washing facilities
  • dwellings occupied by resident staff
  • dwellings occupied by ministers of religion, for example vicarages
  • dwellings occupied by asylum seekers.

Some properties may be exempt from paying Council Tax even if there is someone living there. 

View information on Council Tax exemptions

Last updated: 15/08/2022 10:56

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