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Who Has To Pay?
Liability - The person highest on the list below is normally responsible for paying the bill:
- Resident* Owner
- Resident Tenant
- Resident Sub-Tenant
- Any other Resident
- Non Resident Owner (normally when the property is unoccupied)
*A resident is a person who is at least 18 years of age. For Council Tax purposes, persons working away from home are normally still considered to be a resident.
Joint & Several Liability - Where there is more than one person who is liable to make payment e.g. joint owners or joint tenants they are liable jointly and severally. This means the Council can obtain payment in full from any of the liable persons.
Where a couple live together each partner is liable for the others Council Tax debts and the Council can insist on payment of the full amount from either partner for the period they lived together in the same dwelling. i.e. they are liable jointly and severally.
No person who, for Council Tax purposes, is classed as being Severely Mentally Impaired may be liable jointly and severally with another person.
From 1 June 2001 students cannot be held jointly and severally liable with non-students.
Owner’s Liability - In certain circumstances the owner(s) of a dwelling is liable to pay the Tax although they may not always reside in the dwelling. The categories of owner’s liability are: -
- A property owner between tenancies.
- A landlord for a domestic dwelling of multiple occupancy i.e. where the occupants do not constitute a family and each occupier is entitled to use only part of the flat/house.
- A dwelling, which is the residence of a Minister of Religion, from which he performs his duties of office (paid by the organisation that pays the Ministers stipend).
- School boarding accommodation.
- A dwelling occupied by a religious community.
- A dwelling where a domestic servant has their sole or main residence to carry out their employment within the property, and where the dwelling is occupied from time to time by the servant’s employer.
- A dwelling which constitutes all or part of a residential care home, nursing home, private hospital or hostel.
- A dwelling occupied by asylum seekers who appear to be destitute. They will receive accommodation and other essential living needs under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, and will not be eligible for benefits including Council Tax Benefit. The Regulations provide that the Council Tax liability for any accommodation provided under section 95, will fall on the owner of the property.
If you move to another property please complete a change of ownership-tenancy notification form. You can download the relevant form using the links opposite, print and return the completed form to the address on the document. These forms are also available at Council Service Points or Local Offices.