Who is liable to pay Council Tax

There will only be one Council Tax bill per dwelling. To work out who will have to pay for your home (or "dwelling"), look down the list below. As soon as you reach a description that applies to someone in your home, they will be responsible for the bill (and will be the "liable person"). If there is more than one person the description applies to they will usually all be liable.

A - A resident freeholder (so for owner-occupied property the owner will be liable) 
B - A resident leaseholder (this includes assured tenants under the Housing Act 1988) 
C - A resident statutory or secure tenant 
D - A resident licensee 
E - A resident 
F - The owner (this applies where the dwelling has no resident)

A resident is a person of 18 years or over who lives in the dwelling as their only or main home.

These rules mean that the owner-occupier(s) or residents (including Council tenants) will usually have to pay the tax. If the property is empty, or it is not anyone's main home, or if the people living there are under 18, the owner will be responsible for the bill. A tenant will not have to pay the Council Tax if their landlord lives in the same dwelling. Different rules apply in some special cases, as the owner of the property will be liable - these are described below:

  • Dwellings occupied by more than one household, where the residents pay rent separately for different parts of the dwelling and where the households perhaps share cooking or washing facilities. For example, some hostels, nurses' homes or groups of bed-sits.
  • Residential care homes, nursing homes (such as hospices), mental care homes or certain types of hostels providing a high level of care.
  • Religious communities such as monasteries or convents
  • Dwellings which are not the owner's main home, but are the main home of someone whom the owner employs in domestic service.
  • Vicarages and other dwellings where a minister of religion lives and works
  • Accommodation provided for Asylum Seekers under 595 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.