Who has to pay Council Tax?

Council Tax is payable on all domestic properties, houses, bungalows, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes and houseboats. It is payable whether they are owned or rented.

There is only one Council Tax demand or bill for each home. Check the list below to see if any of the descriptions apply to someone in your home. If they do, then that person is responsible for the Council Tax bill. They are known as the 'liable person'.

  • resident freeholder such as an owner occupier including those still paying a mortgage on the property
  • resident leaseholder such as someone who has bought the right to live in the property for a fixed number of years
  • resident statutory or secure tenant such as a 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

What if there is more than one liable person?

Husbands and wives, partners and joint owners are responsible for paying Council Tax. Each person named on the bill is responsible for ensuring the bill is paid in full.

People who are joint owners or joint tenants are jointly liable for the one Council Tax demand for that property. Special rules apply where one of the liable people is severely mentally impaired.

When the owner should pay

The owner is responsible for paying the Council Tax in the following situations:

  • houses in multiple occupation, for example groups of bedsits which share washing and cooking facilities
  • when the tenant or tenants are under 18 years of age
  • care and nursing homes and some hostels
  • convents
  • some second homes
  • some vicarages
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers (from April 2000)

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.

Council Tax fair processing notice

How we will use you information

Your Council Tax details will be used in data matching exercises. They may be shared with bodies responsible for auditing and administering public funds. This is for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud.

The information provided to Council Tax is processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and relevant legislation. The Council will lawfully share  information when necessary.

For example, matching council tax data with electoral registration records to confirm the correct awarding of a discount or exemption. This is to protect  the use of public funds and to ensure that the correct amount of Council Tax is collected from all residents.

The Council also participates in the statutory National Fraud Initiative. This is a data matching exercise with other public bodies. It is run by the Cabinet Office for the purposes of preventing and detecting fraud.

Any personal data given to us will not be passed to third parties for commercial purposes.

Further information on the Council’s fair processing notice