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Who should pay council tax?

Generally, the person who is highest in the following list is liable to pay the council tax:

  • resident freeholder eg. an owner occupier
  • resident leaseholder eg. an owner occupier who is paying a ground rent
  • resident statutory or secure tenant eg. a council or private tenant
  • resident licensee eg. the landlord of a public house who lives on the premises
  • other resident eg. a squatter
  • non-resident owner

Husbands and wives, partners and joint owners are liable to pay council tax. The bill will show all names, although only one bill may be sent.

When the owner should pay:

The owner is liable to pay the council tax in the following special cases:

  • house in multiple occupation e.g. groups of bedsits which share washing and cooking facilities
  • care and nursing homes together with some hostels
  • convents
  • some second homes
  • some vicarages
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers (from April 2000)


When this content has been updated

Last updated 22 December 2020