Who needs to pay Council Tax

Find out who has to pay the Council Tax for a property, how Council Tax works and who can get a Council Tax discount.

Who should pay

You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over.

Normally the person who is highest on the following list is responsible for paying the Council Tax of a property:

  • the property owner, if they live in the property - this it the resident freeholder
  • a council or private tenant - this is the resident leaseholder, statutory or secured tenant
  • a licensee who lives in the property
  • other residents, such as squatters
  • the property owner, if nobody lives in the property

Partners, joint owners and joint tenants share responsibility for paying the Council Tax. All of their names will be shown on the Council Tax bill. 

When the owner should pay

In some cases, the owner of the property is responsible for paying the Council Tax, even if they don't live there.

This includes:

  • unoccupied periods between tenancies
  • houses in multiple occupation
  • care and nursing homes
  • properties occupied by religious communities
  • second homes

Who is not counted (‘disregarded’)

Some people are not counted (‘disregarded’) when working out how many people live in a property.

Go to GOV.UK to find a list of people who may count as 'disregarded'

If you count as 'disregarded', you might be able to apply for a Council Tax discount.

How Council Tax works

Go to GOV.UK to find out more about how Council Tax works and the The Local Government Finance Act 1992.

How Council Tax discounts work

Getting a discount

If you live with people who are disregarded for Council Tax, the discount to your bill is normally 25%.

If you and everyone else living with you are disregards, the discount may be up to 50%.

We'll automatically include any discounts you should get, which will be shown on the Council Tax bill we send you.

If you think you should get a discount that isn't shown on your bill, you can apply for a Council Tax discount.

Stopping a discount

If something changes in your home and you have a discount you shouldn't be getting anymore, you need to tell us as soon as possible.

For example, if someone moves into your home or someone who lives with you turns 18 years old.

Let us know if your circumstances have changed within 21 days to avoid extra charges.