Who is liable to pay Council Tax

You will usually have to pay Council Tax if you are over 18 and own or rent a property and are:

  • a resident freeholder of the property
  • a resident leaseholder of the property
  • a resident who is a statutory or secure tenant
  • a resident who has a licence to occupy the property
  • a resident of the property

Joint and several liability

Where two or more people who are resident have a similar interest in the property they are jointly and severally liable for the Council Tax, for example, joint tenants who live at a property are jointly and severally liable for the tax.

There is only one Council Tax bill for each property. 

Married and unmarried couples

Joint and several liability also applies where a liable resident has a partner living with him or her, even if the partner is not a tenant or owner of the property.

Unoccupied property

If no one is a resident of a property the owner is liable for the Council Tax.

The owner is a person who has a material interest in the property (a freehold or leasehold interest) granted for 6 months or more and which is not subject to an inferior interest.

For example:

  • a tenant is an owner as defined above if they hold a tenancy granted for 6 months or more. If the property is no-ones place of residence they are liable for the council tax at the unoccupied property
  • a freehold owner is liable for the council tax if the property is neither occupied or subject to a lease or tenancy

This information is for guidance and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

If you have any queries please contact the council tax office on 0345 034 4569 or email svpp@bcpcouncil.gov.uk.

Page last updated: 24 March 2021
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