Who has to pay?
There is a strict hierarchy of who is liable to pay the council tax in relation to any chargeable dwelling.
The person liable for the council tax will be the person who ranks first on the following list:
- Residents who have a freehold interest in the whole or any part of a dwelling
- Residents who have a leasehold interest in the whole or any part of a dwelling
- Residents who are statutory or secure tenants of the whole or any part of a dwelling
- Residents who have a contractual licence to occupy the whole or any part of a dwelling
An 'owner' has a freehold or leasehold granted for more than 6 months.
A 'resident' is anyone aged 18 or over for which the dwelling is their sole or main residence.
Property the owner is liable for
There are certain classes of property for which the owner is considered liable.
Class A - Care homes and hostels
A residential care home, nursing home, mental nursing home or hostel.
Class B - Religious communities
A dwelling inhabited by a religious community where the principal occupation is one of prayer, contemplation, education and the relief of suffering.
Class C - Houses in multiple occupation
Houses in multiple occupation; dwellings originally constructed or adapted for occupation by persons who do not constitute a single household or where each person is a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling.
Class D - Domestic servants' homes
Properties occupied by domestic servants and their families for the purpose of their employment and which the employer does occupy from time to time.
Class E - Ministers of religion
A dwelling used by a minister of religion as a residence and from which he performs the duties of his office. In the case of a Church of England Minister who is inhabitant and owner receives a stipend liability falls on the Diocesan Board of Finance.
Class F - Asylum seekers
Council tax liability for accommodation provided under S95 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 falls on the owner, not the resident asylum seeker.