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Who has to pay the Council Tax

Someone has to pay the Council Tax on a property, and that person is called the liable person. The liable person is usually someone living in the property and if only one person lives in a property it will usually be that person.

People who are living together as a couple share liability regardless of their marital status.

To work out who is the liable person, a system called the Hierarchy of Liability is used, the person with the highest position in the hierarchy will be liable. Starting from the bottom and working up the hierarchy is:

  1. The owner
  2. The tenant
  3. The licence holder
  4. Any resident including squatters
  5. The owner/leaseholder where no one is resident.

When more than one person is at the liable point in the hierarchy, those people are all liable.

A liable person must be over 18.

When the owner becomes liable

The owner of the property is the liable person if:

  1. The property is in multiple occupation, for example a house shared by a number of different households who all have separate rental agreements or
  2. The people in the property are all under the age of 18 or
  3. The property is accommodation for asylum seekers or
  4. The property is a care home, hospital, hostel or women's refuge.