Who has to pay council tax

We work out who has to pay by seeing who comes first in the following list:

  • A freeholder who lives in the property
  • A leaseholder who lives in the property
  • A tenant who lives in the property
  • Someone with a licence to live in the property
  • Any other person (including squatters)
  • If nobody lives in the property, the owner must pay council tax

This means that usually the person who owns and lives in the property or, if the owner doesn't live in the property, the tenant, must pay council tax.

You can own more than one property but only one can be your main home, even though your properties may be within the same district or in different parts of the country. You can get discounts on the other properties, but it is up to us to decide which is your main home - you cannot choose.

If more than one person owns or leases a property, they will be equally responsible for paying council tax.

If you are the partner, whether married or not, of the person who has to pay council tax, you are also responsible.

The owner is the freeholder or leaseholder. If the owner does not live in the property, they will only have to pay council tax if nobody else lives in the property.

If you don't think you have to pay council tax, you should contact us first. If you are not happy with our response, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.