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Normally the person who lives in a property will have to pay the Council Tax. The first person that appears in the list below should pay:

  • An owner-occupier
  • A tenant
  • A licensee
  • Someone who lives in the property with no security of tenure

More than one person may have to pay the bill, for example joint owners or joint tenants. Usually spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible.

Special rules about joint and several liabilities apply where someone suffers from a severe mental impairment or where a full time student lives with someone who is not a student.

There are also times when the owner will have to pay rather than the resident, for example:

  • properties that are nobody's main home
  • homes where the tenants have separate tenancy agreements for part of the property or where it has been adapted for partial occupation, for example, bedsits
  • care homes, nursing homes and night shelters
  • religious communities (monasteries or convents)
  • properties which are not the owner's main home but are occupied by their domestic staff
  • homes where a minister of religion lives and works
  • properties occupied by asylum seekers who are receiving support directly from the Home Office.

We have a section explaining about discounts and exemptions that can apply: