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What is council tax and who has to pay

The liable person(s)

You may be liable to pay council tax if you are aged 18 or over and live in a property that is your sole or main residence.

The liable person will be the person who comes highest in the following list:

  1. a freeholder living in the property
  2. a leaseholder living in the property
  3. a tenant living in the property
  4. a licensee living in the property
  5. a resident with no legal interest in the property (for example a squatter)
  6. the owner if no one lives in the property  

More than one person can be liable to pay council tax in respect of the same address. This is called joint and several liability. This will apply to:   

  • persons with the same interest in the property (for example where more than one person owns or leases a property) 
  • residents who are married or who live together
  • residents who are living together in a civil partnership, or living together as in a civil partnership
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