Who Pays Council Tax

You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home. Spouses and partners who live together are both responsible for paying the bill. The responsibility for paying Council Tax applies in the following order:
  • The owner who lives in the property
  • The tenant who lives in the property
  • The subtenant who lives in the property
  • Someone else who lives in the property
  • The owner if nobody lives in the property

The following people are responsible for paying the Council Tax bill:
  • Married couples;
  • Couples who live together as if married;
  • People in a civil partnership;
  • Joint owners; and
  • Joint tenants.
The legal term for this is ‘jointly and severally’ liable.  This term means that:
  • all named parties are responsible for the amount on the bill; and
  • payment in full can be sought from any of the parties.
We can choose to collect the full amount of the Council Tax bill from anyone who is legally responsible for it. It is then up to the person who has paid to get any monies back from the other parties.

Where individuals are jointly responsible for:
  • Council Tax debt; and
  • Sole debt
We may, where necessary, discuss details of the prior debt with both joint parties. If you do not wish us to discuss your outstanding previous sole debt with your new joint partner, you can request that, we do not share this information by emailing

Please note that where there is a legitimate reason, we may still need to share this information.

In certain circumstances, depending on who is living in the property, we will charge the owner for the Council Tax, even if they are not living in the property themselves.

This includes properties shared by:
  • many different households (known as 'houses in many occupation'), and
  • properties used only by religious communities
Council Tax Enquiries
Contact Council Tax Enquiries online

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