Council Tax is charged on all residential properties in England, and bills are issued to each property, whether occupied or not. Find out who is liable to pay Council Tax.

Paying the right level of Council Tax 

The government has issued guidance to help you check that you're paying the right level of Council Tax

Who is liable to pay Council Tax?

Using a hierarchy of liability, we work out who is liable to pay the property's Council Tax. 

To find out who is liable for Council Tax, check the list below. If you find a description that applies to you or someone in your home, they are responsible for paying the Council Tax.

  • you own and live in the property, meaning you may be the leaseholder, freeholder or landowner
  • you rent the property and have a tenancy agreement
  • you rent the property but do not have a formal agreement in place to stay there, though you do have permission
  • you live in the property but do not have a formal agreement in place to stay there, for example, you may be squatting
  • you own or have a tenancy for a property which no one lives in

Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying Council Tax, even if the property is owned or rented by only one of you.

Sometimes, the property owner will have to pay instead of the person who lives there. The owner is liable to pay if:

  • all residents who live on the property are under 18 years old
  • the property is home to asylum seekers
  • the residents are staying in the property temporarily, and their main home is somewhere else
  • the property is a registered care home, hospital, hostel or women's refuge
  • the property is a house in multiple occupation

Discounts and disregards

There may be cases where the liable person is entitled to a Council Tax discount, or the property is exempt from Council Tax

Second homes and holiday homes

The owner will be liable for Council Tax on furnished second homes, holiday homes or where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished.

Visit Council Tax premium charges for more information about charges on these types of properties. 

If you think you're bill is incorrect

If you are paying Council Tax and think the bill needs to be corrected or the property owner should pay, email Ensure your email's subject line includes your Council Tax account number.