Who should pay

Who pays council tax?

Normally the person who lives in a property will have to pay the council tax. The list below shows who should pay.

  • A resident freeholder
  • A resident leaseholder
  • A resident statutory or secure tenant
  • A resident licensee
  • Someone who lives in the property with no security of tenure
  • The owner (the person entitled to legal possession)

Example:
If there is no resident freeholder (1) then the resident leaseholder (2) will be liable. If there is no resident freeholder (1) nor a resident leaseholder (2) then the resident tenant (3) will be liable to pay until the liable person is determined.

More than 1 person may have to pay the bill, for example joint owners or joint tenants. Usually husbands and wives and couples living as man and wife are jointly responsible, unless either of them is disregarded – see discounts and exemptions.

There are also situations when the owner will have to pay rather than the resident, for example:

  • properties that are nobody's main home
  • homes where the tenants have separate tenancy agreements for part of the property or where it has been adapted for partial occupation (for example, bedsits)
  • care homes, nursing homes and night shelters
  • religious communities (monasteries or convents)
  • properties which are not the owner's main home but are occupied by their domestic staff
  • homes where a minister of religion lives and works
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers who are being are receiving support directly from the Home Office.

For more information, please contact us