Who pays Council Tax?

Occupied properties

Each residential household within the borough receives a Council Tax bill. People responsible ('liable persons') for paying the bill are:

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

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

When there’s more than one liable person

Joint owners or joint tenants are both liable for the Council Tax bill for that property. For example the husband or wife of the Council Tax payer is also jointly responsible for paying the bill.

This applies to an unmarried couple living together and to couples living together in a civil partnership. Special rules apply where one of the liable people is severely mentally impaired.

In some special cases the owner of the property, not the residents, has to pay the Council Tax. These cases are:

  • properties occupied by more than one household, where the households share facilities, such as cooking or washing
  • residential care homes, nursing homes (such as hospices), mental nursing homes or certain types of hostels providing a high level of care
  • religious communities such as a monasteries or convents
  • properties which are not the owner's main home, but which are the main home of a person or people who the owner employs in domestic service
  • vicarage and other houses where a minister of religion lives and works
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers

If you live in one of these homes where the owner is liable, you do not have to pay the Council Tax.

If your landlord is the liable person, they may ask you to pay something towards the bill. This depends on the terms of your agreement with them.

Unoccupied properties

Unoccupied properties are normally charged at the full Council Tax rate and the owner is usually the person liable to pay the charge. Exemptions do apply in some circumstances.

Asylum seekers

As asylum seekers do not have access to the benefits system, they can't be held responsible for the payment of Council Tax and rent. This means the landlord is responsible for full payment of the Council Tax on a property. 

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