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Who should pay

You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home.

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

Paying Council Tax on a property

Usually, the person who is highest on this list is liable to pay the Council Tax for a property:

  • resident freeholder (for example, an owner-occupier)
  • resident leaseholder (for example, an owner-occupier who is paying a ground rent)
  • resident statutory or secure tenant (such as a council or private tenant)
  • resident licensee (this is usually the landlord of a public house who lives in the premises)
  • other resident with no security of tenure (for example, a person living in a property as a squatter)
  • non-resident owner

Married couples, partners and joint owners and tenants are liable to pay Council Tax. One bill will be sent with all names on it.

When the owner is liable to pay Council Tax

The owner rather than the resident is liable to pay Council Tax on a property in these cases:

  • properties that are nobody’s main home
  • homes where the tenants have separate tenancy agreements for part of the property or where it has been adapted for partial occupation (for example, as bedsits)
  • care homes, nursing homes and night shelters
  • religious communities (monasteries or convents)
  • some second homes
  • homes where a minister of religion lives and works
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers who are receiving support directly from the Home Office

Council Tax information - GOV.UK