Council tax

Updated on 15 November 2017

Council tax and business rates are the primary ‘local taxes’ in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, the equivalent to council tax is ‘rates’.

Council tax is payable on a ‘dwelling’.  This can include self-contained accommodation within a property. Some dwellings are exempt, including property wholly occupied by students as their full-time or term-time residence.

The council tax bill is calculated according to the value of the property. It may be reduced where there is only one occupier.

Further guidance is available on GOV.UK and on our website.

If you are renting a property the responsibility for paying council tax depends on what sort of letting arrangement you have. You can find more information on GOV.UK.

If you are renting the whole of a property then it will probably be your responsibility to pay the council tax. If you rent the property with another person or persons, you may be jointly responsible with them for paying the council tax. If you are living in a 'house in multiple occupation' (HMO) the landlord will probably receive the bill. This can include a shared house where three or more tenants each have an agreement with the landlord to rent their own bedroom and use the shared facilities (kitchen, bathroom, living rooms). There is more information on GOV.UK.

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