We are currently consulting on our Council Tax Reduction scheme for 2018/19. For more information, go to: www.newcastle.gov.uk/CouncilTaxReductionScheme2018/19

Who is the Liable Person?
Couples - married or co-habiting as a married couple
Joint and Several Liability
What if it is not paid?
When the owner is the liable person but doesn't live in the property
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
What if no one lives in the property?
What if I live between two properties?
Appeals against Council Tax liability

Who is the Liable Person?

The person who must pay the bill is known as the 'liable person'. One person will usually be liable to pay council tax and their name will appear on the bill. In most cases you will be the liable person if you live in the property as the occupier. This could be as either the owner (if you have a mortgage or own the property out right) or a tenant (with your name on the rent book) and pay rent to the owner.
If you neither own the property nor rent it, you are still liable to pay the council tax bill if you live there.

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Couples - married or co-habiting as a married couple

Couples are always jointly liable if they are married or live as a married couple, regardless of who is named on the bill - they have equal responsibility for paying it.

Joint and Several Liability

All liable people should be shown on your bill; we must be informed if they are not. You will still only be sent one bill addressed to one of you. This person is responsible for making sure the other liable people know the bill has arrived and needs paying. They also have to make sure that it is paid.

If you are jointly liable, you are equally responsible for paying the whole bill and not just your 'share'.

If the due instalments are not paid in full, a reminder will be issued to the person the bill was addressed to. However if further action is necessary, it will be taken against all joint and several liable person's named on the bill. A summons will be issued to each joint and severally liable person individually.

You can ask to have both names on your bill, but you will still only be sent one bill addressed to one of you. This person is responsible for making sure the other partner knows the bill has arrived and needs paying. They also have to make sure that it is paid.
If you are jointly liable, you are equally responsible for paying the whole bill and not just your 'share'.

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What if it is not paid?

We will take court action against each jointly liable person to make sure all of the bill is paid.

When the owner is the liable person but doesn't live in the property

Sometimes the owner has to pay council tax and not the residents. These properties include:

  • Residential Care Homes
  • Properties occupied by resident domestic staff only (for example people working in hotels)
  • Religious Communities
  • Properties occupied by a Minister of Religion
  • Houses in Multiple Occupation (see H.M.O below)

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Landlords and tenants of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are often confused about the fact that owners, not tenants, are responsible for paying council tax on these properties. Although the owner has to pay the council tax bill, they may add it on to any rent or fee you have to pay.

What is a HMO?

For the purpose of council tax liability,a 'House in Multiple Occupation' is:

  • built or adapted for occupation by people, but who don't live as a single household.

Or:

  • a dwelling which is occupied by people who have a tenancy or licence to live in only part of the a dwelling, or who pays rent or a license fee for only part of the dwelling.

For example; a house which has been divided into separate bedsits is a good example of an HMO under this category, but a block of flats does not come into this category because each flat in the block is a separate, self contained dwelling in its own right.

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What if no one lives in the property?

In most cases there will still be some council tax to pay if the property is unoccupied. This is usually the responsibility of the owner of the property, however this depends on the circumstances. See discounts and reliefs to find out more. 

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What if I live between two properties?

If you have more than one home or work away from home, it is important to clarify where your main residence is. This is a major factor in deciding how much council tax you pay. It's likely you will pay full council tax on the property you live in most of the time and some on the other property.

Please contact us if you are not sure what you have to pay on 0191 278 7878.

Page last updated: 
6 March 2017
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