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Council tax explained

Responsible person

Details of who has to pay council tax are listed in legislation.
The occupier of a property usually pays it. If nobody lives in a property the owner will be responsible. 


he person responsible for paying council tax is often referred to as the liable person:


  • A resident of the dwelling with a freehold interest (e.g. owner occupier)
  • A resident and has a leasehold interest not inferior to any other held by another resident (e.g. tenant)
  • A resident who is a statutory or secure tenant
  • A resident who has a contractual licence (not a tenant, but has permission to stay there)
  • A resident (e.g. squatter)
  • The owner of the dwelling (this applies where the dwelling has no residents)
Liability to pay council tax is determined on a daily basis. 

Joint and several liability

Anyone who has the same interest in a property is jointly responsible for paying. This means that married couples and people living together as a couple have joint liability to pay. The same will apply to joint tenants sharing a flat.

The legislative information is held by the government and details are available on their website.

Payment by instalments

Everyone has the right to pay in monthly instalments, usually from April to January each year.
You can choose to pay by monthly instalments up to the end of March but the number of instalments available depends on which month has been reached and when your first bill is issued. 
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