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What is Council Tax?
- What is Council Tax?
- Who pays Council Tax?
- Information for couples
- Information for people who do not stay in the property
Council Tax is a property based tax introduced on 1 April 1993 to replace the Community Charge.
It is a locally set tax that is payable on all residential properties whether they are owned or rented.
The tax pays for over one third of the cost of providing services in the borough such as education, libraries and refuse collection.
Council Tax is paid by home owners or tenants aged 18 or over.
Where there is more than one person aged 18 or over resident in the property, the one nearest the top of the following list is responsible for paying Council Tax:
- a freeholder who lives in the property
- a leaseholder who lives in the property
- a tenant who lives in the property
- someone who has a license to live in the property
- any other person (including squatters) who lives in the property
- the owner of an unoccupied property
A resident is someone aged 18 or over who has their only or main home at the property.
More than one person may be jointly liable for Council Tax if they live in the property and are joint owners or tenants. This means that the council can require all or anyone of them to pay.
Married couples and those living together as husband and wife or civil partners are jointly liable for payment, whether or not they have an equal interest in the property.
You should inform us if your bill does not include your partner’s name.
If you do not live in your home but own it or have a tenancy of six months or more, you must still pay Council Tax if your property is:
- a second home
- a care home, nursing home or hostel
- lived in by more than one household (known as 'Houses in Multiple Occupation' (HMO))
- lived in by a minister of religion or a religious community
- sometimes used by an employer whose staff live at the property
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