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Who is Liable for Council Tax

The Council Tax Hierarchy of Liability

The Council Tax Hierarchy of Liability is detailed in Section 75 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. It determines who is liable for the council tax on a dwelling, and is as follows;

  • Resident owner
  • Resident tenant
  • Resident statutory tenant
  • Resident sub-tenant
  • Resident
  • Non-resident sub-tenant
  • Non-resident tenant
  • Non-resident owner

The individual who has the highest legal interest in relation to the hierarchy is liable for the council tax and water service charges. Normally, the resident is liable and where there is no resident, the owner becomes liable.

Joint and Several Liability

Joint and several liability applies where two or more individuals have the same interest in a dwelling in terms of the hierarchy of liability. Therefore, joint and several liability occurs when there are;

  • Joint resident owners
  • Joint resident tenants
  • Joint residents
  • Joint non-resident owners

Where joint and several liability applies, each individual is liable for the full debt. Therefore, the local authority may seek recovery of all or part of the debt from each or all of the liable parties.