Who is the liable person?
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In most case the liable person will live in the property (the occupier) and will either have a mortgage or own the property (the owner), or will have their name on the rent book (the tenant).
- If there is no owner or tenant living in the property, then any occupier must pay.
- If no one living in the property is an owner, then the tenant must pay.
- If anyone living in the property is an owner, they must pay.
When is the owner always the liable person?
In some circumstances, the owner is liable for particular types of property - NOT the residents, for example, when a property is converted into several bedsits each separately rented. The owner must pay the Council Tax due on this property.
Properties where the owner is liable include:
- Residential Care Homes
- Properties occupied by resident domestic staff only
- Religious Communities
- Houses in multiple occupation (see H.M.O)
- Properties occupied by a Minister of Religion
What if no one lives in the property?
In most cases, there will still be some Council Tax to pay if the property is unoccupied. In the majority of cases, the person who must pay will be the owner of the property. A property is considered unoccupied if nobody aged 18 or over lives there, as a permanent address or as temporary accommodation.
The 'main' home (i.e. Sole or Main Residence)
If a person has more than one home or works away from home, it is important to determine where that person's main residence is. This is a major factor in deciding how much Council Tax is payable.
Page last updated: 4 February 2020