Who is responsible for paying the bill

Only one Council Tax bill is issued for each home. Usually it is the owner-occupier or the tenant living in the property who has to pay the bill. If the property is empty, it will be the owner. People who live together as husband and wife are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

Who is responsible for paying the bill?
The person who has to pay the Council Tax is called the 'liable person'.  The person at the top or nearest to the top of the following list is the liable person if he or she:

  • lives in the property and owns it
  • lives in the property and has a lease (this includes 'assured tenants' under the Housing Act 1988)
  • lives in the property and is a 'statutory' or 'secure' tenant
  • lives in the property and is not a tenant but has permission or license to live there from the owner lives in the property (for example a squatter)
  • owns the property but does not live there
  • If there are no residents, the responsibility passes to the owner.  This is the person(s) with the freehold or leasehold of the dwelling.  But the owner has to pay if a home is 'let in parts', such as bedsits, or where the tenant(s) is not liable (jointly or otherwise) for the rent of the whole house or flat.
  • The owner must also pay if the home is a residential care/nursing home, religious community, or the home of a minister of religion.

Note: You cannot be a 'liable person' if you are under 18.

If you're still unsure about who is responsible for paying the bill contact us for further advice

When this content has been updated

Last updated 11 October 2017