Who is liable to pay council tax?Last updated: 26 April 2013 15:50 UK
Every household in Portsmouth is liable for council tax. In most circumstances the person who lives in the property is the person liable for the council tax. This person must be over 18 years of age. Husbands and wives, partners and joint owners are normally jointly liable to pay council tax. The council sends one tax bill showing all the names.
Who has to pay council tax?
Generally, the council follows this order when deciding liability for council tax:
- Resident freeholders (such as an owner occupier) or resident leaseholders (for example an owner occupier who pays ground rent)
- Resident council or private tenants, or someone living in the property under licence (such as a caretaker or publican)
- Any resident not described above, including illegal tenants and squatters
- Non-resident owner of the property
If more than one person is at the same point on the list, they will all be jointly liable. This means that two resident owners, for example, will both be named on the bill.
The owner is liable to pay the council tax in the following special cases:
- where there are separate tenancy agreements for one part of a property, or where a property has been adapted for partial occupation (for example bedsits or a single house where the tenants pay rent as individuals) - these are known as houses in multiple occupation
- A residential care home, nursing home or hostel
- Religious communities (such as monasteries or convents)
- Properties used by a minister of religion
- Properties occupied by asylum seekers receiving support directly from the Home Office
Some people are exempt from paying altogether, for example students. Discounts are also available for some households - please follow the link for further details on council tax discounts and exemptions. If you are on a low income you may also qualify for council tax support.
For more details, or to clarify your own situation, scroll down to 'council tax' on the contact us page.