Who should pay Council Tax?

Normally if you live in a property and are aged 18 or over you will be responsible for paying the Council Tax.

The list below shows who should be named on the bill, in order of responsibility:

  • resident freeholder
  • resident leaseholder
  • resident statutory or secure tenant
  • resident licensee
  • other resident
  • non-resident owner

Joint owners and joint tenants will normally be jointly responsible, unless one of you is severely mentally impaired or a student.

In some circumstances the property owner will be responsible for paying Council Tax, rather than the person living in the property. Examples of this include:

  • properties that are nobody's main home
  • properties shared by a number of different households, who all pay rent separately (for example, a property divided into bedsits)
  • care homes, nursing homes and night shelters
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers
  • properties occupied by religious communities

If you don't think you're liable to pay Council Tax

You have the right to appeal if you don't think you are liable to pay Council Tax. This might be because:

  • you're not the resident or owner
  • you believe that the property should be exempt
  • you believe the Council has made a mistake in calculating your bill

If you wish to appeal you need to write to us explaining why. We will look at the decision again. Please remember that you must continue to pay your Council Tax whilst an appeal is being considered.

If after you've made an appeal you still don't agree with the decision you can appeal online to the Valuation Tribunal, or by writing to them at:

Valuation Tribunal for England
Second floor
120 Leman Street
E1 8EU

Your appeal should be made within two months of receiving our revised decision.

If you do not receive a reply from the Council, you may appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within four months of your written appeal to the Council.

Appealing a discretionary decision

There is no automatic right of appeal against a discretionary decision of the Council (for example, the reduction in discounts on second homes). You may only appeal against a discretionary decision by way of Judicial Review, and even then only about the way the decision was made-not the result.

Further information:

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Page last updated: 09 August 2022

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