Who Pays Council Tax

The responsibility to pay council tax normally falls to one or more adults who are solely or mainly the resident in a property.

Liable persons

Where there is more than one person living in a house the liable person (person responsible for paying the bill) will be either:

  • a resident freeholder (for owner-occupied properties, this will be the owner)
  • a resident leaseholder
  • a resident with a statutory or secure tenancy
  • resident licensee
  • resident
  • the owner

When there’s more than one liable person

Husbands and wives and unmarried couples living together are both responsible for paying the bill.

People who are joint owners or joint tenants are also jointly liable, whether or not they are shown on the bill.

Where there is no resident in the property, the owner is liable.

The owner is also liable, instead of the residents, for certain prescribed classes of dwellings including:

  • residential care homes, nursing homes and some hostels
  • properties lived in by religious communities (such as monasteries and convents)
  • properties occupied by more than one household where the residents share certain facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom
  • properties which are not the owner’s main home, but instead the main home of someone whom the owner employs in domestic service
  • properties lived in by ministers of religion
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers