Who has to pay council tax?

Council tax is charged on every domestic property in the borough. Only people aged 18 or over have to pay council tax. Where there is more than one person aged 18 or over resident in your home, the one nearest to the top of the following list will be responsible for paying council tax.

  • Residents who have a freehold interest in the property i.e. owner occupiers.
  • Residents who have leasehold interest in the property i.e. leaseholders.
  • Residents who are statutory or secure tenants e.g.,. rent payers.
  • Residents who have a contractual license to occupy the property e.g. occupants of tied cottages.
  • Residents with no legal interest in the property.
  • Non-resident owners.

A resident is someone aged 18 years or more who has their only or main home at your property.

Joint and several liability

This is a legal term, which means that when more than one person is held responsible to pay, for example joint owners or joint tenants, and is billed, either or any of them can be required to pay the full amount outstanding.

Students have been excluded from the joint and several liability rule.  This means that for properties not classed as houses in multiple occupation and where students share with non-students, only the non-student(s) will be billed and have to pay the council tax.

Married couples or people who live together as a couple are held jointly responsible even if they do not have an equal legal interest in the property.

Owners liability

We will send the bill to the owner for the following types of property irrespective of who actually lives there.

  • Houses in multiple occupations
  • Residential care homes
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental nursing homes
  • Hostels
  • Religious communities
  • Ministers of religion accommodation
  • Some staff accommodation
  • Dwellings occupied by persons all under the age of 18
  • Asylum seekers housed under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (with effect from 1.4.00)

If you believe you are not liable for council tax, find out more about making an appeal.

More information about exemptions from council tax.