Register to pay Council Tax

Sole or main residence 

You may be liable to pay Council Tax, if you are aged 18 or over and live in a property as your sole or main residence. The person(s) billed will be whoever comes highest in the following list:

  1. A freeholder living in the property
  2. A leaseholder living in the property
  3. A tenant living in the property
  4. A licensee living in the property
  5. A resident with no legal interest, for example, a squatter

Other properties

You can only have one property as your main home. If you have more than one property, the respective council(s) will decide which is your main home, you cannot choose.

However, you may be entitled to either a discount or exemption in respect of any additional property.

Joint liability

More than one person may, in certain circumstances, be jointly liable for Council Tax in respect of the same property.

This will apply in relation to:

  • persons with the same interest in the property, for example, where more than one person owns or leases a property
  • residents who are married or who live together
  • residents who are living together in a civil partnership or living together as in a civil partnership

Unoccupied properties

If a property is unoccupied then the owner of a property will usually be liable for the payment of Council Tax.

Long term empty property – premium

A percentage premium is charged when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least two years. The amount charged will depend on how long the property has been empty.

  • A premium of 100% is charged when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years. This means you will be charged 200% of the Council Tax liability.
  • A premium of 200% is charged when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 5 years. This means you will be charged 300% of the Council Tax liability.
  • A premium of 300% is charged when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 10 years. This comes into effect from 1 April 2021 and means you will be charged 400% of the Council Tax liability.

A premium rate applies to the property and is not affected by a change in ownership or tenancy. If you purchase or lease a property and it has already been empty and unfurnished at least two years, you will be liable to pay an additional premium.

An additional Council Tax charge can only be removed by bringing the property back into use. If the property is occupied for 6 weeks or less, it will be regarded as not having been occupied for the purpose of calculating the premium charge.

The owner

For Council Tax purposes the owner will usually be either the freeholder or leaseholder of a property. The owner may also be liable for the payment of Council Tax on the following types of property:

  • Residential care homes
  • Dwellings inhabited by religious communities
  • Houses Multiple Occupation
  • Dwellings Occupied By Resident Staff
  • Dwellings Inhabited By Ministers Of Religion
  • Dwellings Provided To Asylum Seekers

What if I think I don't have to pay Council Tax

If you don't think you have to pay Council Tax then you should appeal in writing to the Council Tax department - please see the valuation appeals webpage.

How to register

To register for Council Tax, you will need to complete an online registration form:

Council Tax moving home form

Alternatively, complete the downloadable form:

Further information

Many households do not pay the full Council Tax charge as they qualify for one or more reductions. See the Council Tax discounts webpage and the Council Tax exemptions webpage.

Council Tax Support is available to help people meet their Council Tax liability. It can be awarded to people who have low income.

The Council Tax Department receives a large volume of correspondence in March and April following billing for the new financial year. Please be aware that any correspondence received during this period may not be answered for several weeks and that there will be a delay in issuing Council Tax bills.

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