You will usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent the property you live in. Each domestic property in Sheffield has a Council Tax charge, and there will only be one bill for each property.
We calculate your Council Tax bill on the basis that there are at least two people aged 18 or over living in your home. The bill may be addressed to just one of the people responsible for paying or to all of them if all the names are known.
Once we know who in the property is liable to pay, we can decide if any discounts or exemptions apply. Council Tax is a daily charge so if your own circumstances or your household’s circumstances change at any time, the liability and charge to Council Tax may also change.
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:
- someone who lives in the property and has a freehold interest
- someone who lives in the property and has a leasehold interest
- someone who lives in the property and is a statutory or secure tenant
- someone who lives in the property and has a licence to live in the property
- any other person who lives in the property
- the owner (where no-one lives in the property)
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.
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 can’t 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.
If you are a landlord renting out a property, the responsibility for paying Council Tax depends on what sort of letting arrangement you have.
If you rent the whole of your property to one person or family, or to joint tenants, your tenants are liable for the Council Tax and we will send the bill to them.
If all your tenants are students, your property is exempt and you will not be charged.
If you rent out your property to several people, and they each have an individual tenancy agreement to occupy only part of the building - called a 'House in Multiple Occupation' (HMO) - you are liable for the Council Tax and we’ll send the bill to you.
The owner (landlord) of the property is liable to pay Council Tax where the property is a House in Multiple Occupation, or where the owner lives in the property and lets out rooms.
Student tenants are liable if there is a single tenancy agreement naming everyone who lives in the property and the owner lives elsewhere.
If you are a full time student and you rent a property on your own or with others who are all classed as full time students, you are exempt from paying Council Tax.
If you are a full time student and you rent a property with one or more people who are not students, you will not be named on the bill, and will not have to pay Council Tax. Only the non-students who are joint tenants are liable.
Student sole tenants or home owners
If you are a full time student and you own the home you live in, or you are the sole tenant, you will be exempt from paying Council Tax.
If you are a full time student and you own the home you live in, or you are the sole tenant, but you let out a room or part of your property to non-students, they will be counted as visible adults for Council Tax purposes, and as the sole owner or leaseholder you will be personally liable for the Council Tax charge.
Students who own their home (or have a tenancy) jointly with their spouse or civil partner
If you own your home jointly with your spouse or civil partner, or you have a joint tenancy, and they are not a full-time student, they will be liable for the Council Tax but you will not.
If both you and your spouse or civil partner are full time students you will be exempt from Council Tax.
If both you and your spouse or civil partner are full time students, but there are non-student adults living in your home, you and your spouse or civil partner will be liable for Council Tax but the non-students won’t be.
Foreign partners or dependants of a student
Foreign partners or dependants of a student are not liable for Council Tax providing they are not a British Citizen and they are not allowed to work or claim benefit in this country.