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Who is responsible for paying Council Tax


Council Tax rules set out the order of who is liable for the charge.  The liable person is the person who appears first on the list:

  • A resident with a freehold interest in all or part of the dwelling.
  • A resident with a leasehold interest in all or part of the dwelling.
  • A resident who is a statutory or secure tenant.
  • A resident who is a licensee
  • A resident who does not fall within any of the first four categories listed above
  • The owner


Joint Responsibility

Sometimes more than one person is responsible for paying the Council Tax, for example when 2 or more people live in the property and jointly own, rent or lease it.

The only time this does not apply is when one resident is severely mentally impaired.

There will only be one bill for the property.  It may be addressed to just one of the people responsible for paying or, to all of them if all the names are known.

Joint responsibility also applies to a husband, wife, civil partner or opposite sex partner of the person who has to pay the bill providing they all live in the same property.  This applies even if they are not joint owners, leaseholders or tenants.

Council Tax bills cannot be split between joint council tax payers.  For example if three people live in the property, there will only be one bill issued to the household and not three bills for one third of the council tax.

We cannot get involved in any arrangements that people with joint responsibility have made between themselves for payment and, if necessary will take legal action against each one separately if the council tax is not paid. This includes anyone who has paid, or been given full benefit for, the amount they consider to be their 'share' of the bill.


Full time students

If residents are a full time student and are in the same liability category as other residents who aren't a full time student, then the students aren't jointly liable to pay Council Tax.

If full time students are on a higher liability category than the other residents and the other residents are not students, the students are liable for the Council Tax.

If there is only one non-student in the household, the person liable to pay Council Tax may be entitled to a discount.


Exempt Properties

Some properties are exempt from a Council Tax charge.

  • Modified: Feb 12, 2015 9:37:39 AM