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

Married couples or couples who live together as if they were married, or in a civil partnership are responsible ‘jointly and severally’ for paying Council Tax. 

Joint owners or joint tenants are also responsible ‘jointly and severally’ for paying the bill.

'Jointly and Severely' means that the amount on the bill is the responsibility of all named parties 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.

In cases where there is joint liability for Council Tax debt and the liable individuals have outstanding previous 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 us at benctax@fife.gov.uk

Please note that in some specific circumstances, 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. These circumstances include properties shared by a number of different households (known as 'houses in multiple occupation'), and properties used only by religious communities.

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