Only people over 18 have to pay Council Tax. If there is more than one person living at the property, the person nearest the top of the following list is usually liable:

  • a freehold owner living at the property
  • a leasehold owner living at the property
  • a tenant living at the property
  • a licensee living at the property
  • anyone else who lives at the property
  • the property owner

Find out what to do if you're paying Council Tax for the first time.

Joint and several liability

If more than one member of the household meets any of the above criteria, they are jointly and severally liable. Also, if you are married to, or live as a couple with someone who is liable you will also be liable for the payment of Council Tax, even if you are not the joint owner or tenant of the property.

If more than one person is liable to pay Council Tax, each is individually liable to pay the whole bill. This means that if the bill is not paid in full, the council can ask any of those that are liable to pay the whole of the unpaid balance.

Property owners

You may be liable for a property you own even if you don’t live in the property.

The owner is always liable if the property is:

  • a residential care home or nursing home
  • a house in multiple occupation (occupied by multiple households that pay rent separately, or the property is adapted for more than one household)
  • occupied by a minister of religion or a religious community
  • occupied by domestic servants
  • occupied by asylum seekers