Who must pay council tax

Telephone scam warning

We have been made aware of a telephone scam in which a well-spoken caller falsely claims the government is re-banding properties for council tax, and asks for payment so an inspector can visit your property to carry out a survey.

If you receive a request like this you should end the call immediately. Do not make a payment or share bank or payment card details.

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