Who must pay council tax

Council tax and benefits – Sunday 28 February

On Sunday 28 February from 9am to 3pm, due to essential maintenance, our online services for council tax accounts and benefit applications will not be available.

Please do not try to use these services during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience. You can still pay your council tax online.

Sole or main residence

Most people only have 1 home. This is what they will pay council tax on.

Under council tax law, if you have only 1 address, that address is your 'sole or main residence'.

Some people have more than 1 home or spend a long time away because of work or extended holidays.

If you spend a long time away from home

Even if you spend a long time away from home, we will treat it as your main home for council tax.

We consider couples to have 1 main home, even if both people own or rent different properties.

How we find out about your sole or main residence

If you spend time at more than 1 address, we have to decide which one is your main home.

By law, we have to ask you personal questions about your relationships and lifestyle. We will also need to see documents to prove what you say. You need to provide proof of:

  • physically living at each address
  • the reasons why you have 2 addresses
  • where your wife, husband or partner lives, if you have one
  • where your children live, if you have any
  • your legal tie to each address
  • where you keep most of your belongings
  • whether you intend to return to 1 address eventually
  • whether anything prevents you from returning whenever you want to
  • which address is your most settled home