Who has to pay 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:
- The owner.
- The tenant.
- The licence holder.
- Any resident including squatters.
- 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:
- The property is in multiple occupation, for example a house shared by a number of different households who all have separate rental agreements or
- The people in the property are all under the age of 18 or
- The property is accommodation for asylum seekers or
- The property is a care home, hospital, hostel or women's refuge.