Who pays council tax

Usually one person (called the liable person) who is aged 18 or over, is legally responsible for paying council tax. Couples living together and tenants who have a joint tenancy are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

Generally, the person living in a property is responsible for paying but sometimes it will be the owner of the property who has to pay.

The owner will pay if:

  • the property is a shared house (a house where the tenants rent parts of the dwelling seperately and have individual tenancy agreements).
  • the people who live in the property are all under the age of 18
  • the property is accommodation for asylum seekers
  • the people who are staying in the property are there temporarily and have their main homes somewhere else
  • the property is a care home, hospital, hostel or women's refuge

If only one person lives in a property they must pay the bill but may be able to get to a discount. If two people live there we use the following list, and the person that's nearest the top has to pay. If they're both at the same point in the list they are jointly responsible so both have to pay.

  1. A resident owner-occupier who owns either the freehold or leasehold of all or part of the property
  2. A resident tenant
  3. A resident who lives in the property and who is a licensee (they aren't a tenant but have permission to stay there)
  4. Any resident living in the property (for example a squatter)
  5. An owner of the property where no one is resident

Change of liable persons details

Use our online form below if you think someone else should pay council tax on a property or you want to report a change of details.

Report a change of liable persons details