Who pays Council Tax

Each property receives one Council Tax bill. 

If only one person lives in a property, he or she will be the person liable to pay Council Tax.

If two or more people live in a property the person highest on the following list will be responsible for paying Council Tax:

  • resident freeholder
  • resident leaseholder
  • resident tenant
  • resident licensee
  • any other resident
  • the owner, where no one is resident

A resident is anyone aged 18 years or over who lives in the property as their only or main home.

Joint liability

Two or more people can be jointly liable for Council Tax at one property.

This applies to

  • joint owners or joint tenants
  • residents who are married, live together as husband and wife or who are civil partners

This means that the Council can require all of them or any one of them to make payment of Council Tax.

You can request to add a person to your council tax bill by using the Council Tax general enquiry form.

When the owner is liable

In some situations the owner, not the residents, of a property is liable to pay Council Tax for the following types of property:

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished properties that have been empty for more than two years will be charged an additional 100 per cent empty homes premium, this will mean that Council Tax will be charged at 200 per cent. For more information see the Cabinet report.
  • residential care homes, nursing homes or hostels
  • houses in multiple occupation
  • properties inhabited by religious communities
  • properties occupied by resident staff
  • properties used by ministers of religion
  • dwellings occupied solely by asylum seekers

Find out about discounts and exemptions for certain people and properties.


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