Council Tax liability

People who pay Council Tax are known as liable persons.

By establishing who comes first in the following list we can establish who is liable to pay Council Tax for a property:

  1. Resident owner
  2. Resident leaseholder
  3. Resident tenant
  4. Resident licensee
  5. Resident
  6. Non-resident owner (unoccupied properties)


In some special cases where a property is unoccupied or where rooms are let separately and the residents share facilities, the owner is the liable person.

Joint responsibility for Council Tax

If you live in a property, which is jointly owned, leased or rented by two or more people, you will be jointly responsible for paying the Council Tax. There is only one Council Tax bill for each property, and the name of everyone who is jointly responsible will appear on the bill. If the bill is in joint names, you are all responsible for paying the whole Council Tax for the property. The bill cannot be split between the joint Council Tax payers, for example if there are three joint leaseholders, we cannot issue three bills for a third of the Council Tax that is due for the property. Joint responsibility also applies to husbands and wives or partners who live in the same property. We cannot become involved in any arrangements you may have made with other people who are jointly responsible for paying the bill. If we have to take legal action to recover the Council Tax that is owed, recovery action will be taken equally against all liable persons. You may all be contacted separately for full payment.

If we have sent you a bill that you do not think you are liable for, you should Contact Harlow straight away. If you are not happy with our response, you can appeal.