Who should pay Council Tax?

If you occupy a property as your main home, you are responsible for paying Council Tax.  If you’re under 18 you do not need to pay Council Tax.

The person liable to pay Council Tax

Generally, the person who is highest in the following list is liable to pay the Council Tax:

  • Resident freeholder, e.g. an owner occupier.
  • Resident leaseholder, e.g. an owner occupier who is paying a ground rent.
  • Resident statutory or secure tenant, e.g. a council or private tenant.
  • Resident licensee, e.g. the landlord of a public house who lives on the premises.
  • Other resident, e.g. a squatter.
  • Non-resident owner.

Joint and several liability

If there is more than one person fitting the description of the person liable, each person will be liable for the whole amount – not just a share of it.  This is called joint and several liability.

For example, if you rent a property with a friend, you may each decide to pay half the Council Tax. But if one of you fails to pay, the other person is liable to pay the full amount.

Married and unmarried couples

Husbands and wives and unmarried couples living together are liable to pay Council Tax even if only one of them owns or rents the property.  The bill will show all the names, although only one bill may be sent.

Empty homes discount

We may reduce your Council Tax by 20 per cent for 12 months if the property is empty due to structural alterations or major repairs. Contact us if this applies to you and we will arrange an inspection.

Homes empty for two or more years

In April 2019, central government said local authorities could increase Council Tax for properties that have been empty for more than two years from 150% of the standard charge up to a maximum of 200%. Liverpool applied this change in April 2019.

Homes empty for five or more years

From 2020, central government has permitted a maximum charge of 300% for properties that have been empty for five years or more. Liverpool is applying this charge to help stop homes being left empty and ensure the best use of housing stock in the city.

When the owner should pay the Council Tax

The owner, rather than the occupier, is liable to pay the Council Tax in the following special cases:

  • Houses in multiple occupation, e.g. groups of bedsits which share washing and cooking facilities.
  • Care and nursing homes together with some hostels.
  • Properties occupied only be religious communities.
  • Some second homes.
  • Some vicarages.
  • Properties occupied by asylum seekers.

Depending on your circumstances and those who live with you, you may be entitled to a Council Tax reduction or exemption.