Payments and bills

Who has to pay council tax?

This list below shows who is/are liable for (responsible for paying) the Council Tax bill.

  • a resident freeholder
  • a resident leaseholder
  • a resident tenant
  • a resident licensee
  • a resident
  • the owner


A resident is someone aged 18 years or more who is living in the property as their only or main home.

If there are two or more residents in your home who are in the same group (e.g. joint freeholders), they are jointly liable for payment of the whole bill.


Tenants are liable for Council Tax from the date that either:

  • the tenancy agreement starts;
  • or the move in date agreed with the landlord (whichever is earlier).

Tenants are responsible for Council Tax up to the date that either:

  • the tenancy agreement ends;
  • or the move out date agreed with the landlord (whichever is later).


Property owners are liable for Council Tax from the date of purchase (completion date). Owners are also liable for unoccupied properties in-between tenants.

If you are  liable for paying the Council Tax and haven't registered, please let us know.

When the owner should pay

The owner is liable to pay the Council Tax for:

  • houses in multiple occupation, for example groups of bedsits which share washing and cooking facilities
  • care homes, nursing homes and some hostels
  • second homes
  • some vicarages
  • convents
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers (from April 2000)
Feedback button