To work out who has to pay for your home (or dwelling), look at the list below. As soon as you reach a description that applies to someone in your home, that is the person or persons responsible for the bill (the "liable person"):
- a resident freeholder (therefore for owner occupied property, the owner)
- a resident leaseholder (this includes assured tenants under the Housing Act 1988)
- a resident statutory or secure tenant
- a resident licensee
- a resident
- the owner (this applies where the dwelling has no residents).
A "resident" is a person 18 years or over who lives in the dwelling as their only or main residence.
There can be more than one liable person in a property. People who are joint owners or joint tenants are jointly and severally liable for the Council Tax bill for the dwelling. That is to say both parties are individually responsible for the whole bill. This is an important point to remember because the law does not distinguish between the liable people. For further information on this point please contact the Local Taxation Team Leader on 01768 212232.
In the case of properties occupied by a lot of people (known as a house of multiple occupation) such as those split into bedsits, the owner is liable.
Joint and Several Liability
There can be more than one liable person. People who are joint owners or joint tenants are jointly and severally (ie individually) liable for the one Council Tax bill for the dwelling.
Husbands and wives of liable people are also jointly responsible for paying the bill. This also applies to a man and woman living together as husband and wife. Special rules apply where one of the liable people has a chronic mental health condition. See Joint and Several Liability for further information.
Contact the Local Taxation Team:
Address: Revenues and Benefits Section, Town Hall, Penrith CA11 7QF
Telephone: 01768 212216 / 212242 / 212232
Fax: 01768 890470