Who has to pay Council Tax
You usually have to pay Council Tax if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home. Council Tax is normally paid by the person living at the property, but there are a few circumstances where the owner is responsible for paying Council Tax.
It is the responsibility of the owner to pay Council Tax for:
- Empty properties
- Nursing homes and other similar homes
- Houses of religious communities
- Houses in multiple occupation (where rooms are let individually)
- Residences of staff who live in houses which are also occupied by an employer
- Residences of ministers of religion.
If you rent a property and think that your landlord or somebody else should be paying the property's Council Tax, you should contact us for advice.
Order of liability
If you are the occupier and over 18, you are liable for paying Council Tax. If you live as a couple (married, cohabiting, or in a civil partnership), you are both equally liable for paying Council Tax, as a couple and as individuals. It does not matter whose name is on the Council Tax bill.
If a number of people live in a property, there is a process for determining the order of liability.
The order of liability is:
- A resident owner-occupier who is the freeholder of all or part of the property
- A resident owner-occupier who is the leaseholder of all or part of the property
- A resident tenant
- A resident who lives in the property and who is not a tenant, but has permission to stay there
- Any other resident living in the property
- Mortgage in possession of an owner's interest
- An owner of the property where no one is resident. If you move in, your Council Tax liability is calculated on a daily basis.
Empty properties Council Tax
Council Tax will be charged at the full rate on all long-term empty properties.
In certain circumstances, some dwellings will not be classed as long-term empty dwellings. The majority of these exemptions are determined by Central Government and Legislation.
Empty Homes Review
You may have recently received a review letter about the occupancy status of your property. In support of the Government's initiative to tackle the shortfall in national housing, South Ribble Borough Council is currently undertaking a review of empty Council Tax properties.
Please complete the Empty Homes Review to update the property records for your address. It will take 5-10 minutes to complete, and you will need the passcode numbers on your review letter. The review is being managed on behalf of the council by Capacitygrid.
Empty property Council Tax charges and exemptions
Type of Property
Period of Exemption
Class of property after prescribed period
|A (Former)||Property in need or undergoing major repairs||12 months||Long term empty|
|B||Unoccupied, owned by a charity||6 months||Long term empty|
|C (Former)||Empty and unfurnished for up to six months||6 months||Long term empty|
|D||Empty due to a person being in prison||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|E||Empty due to a person having gone to live in a care home||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|F||Council tax payer deceased||6 months from Grant of probate||Long term empty|
|G||Occupation prohibited by law||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|K||Dwelling left empty by a student||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|L||Unoccupied dwelling where a mortgage is in possession||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|R||Caravan pitches and boat moorings||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|W||Dependent relative||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|H||Unoccupied dwelling held for a Minister of religion||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|I||Person living elsewhere to receive personal care||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|J||Dwelling left empty by a person providing personal care||Indefinite||Not applicable|
|Q||Dwelling left empty by a bankrupt||Indefinite||Not applicable|
Empty Property Premium
If your property has been empty and unfurnished (long-term empty) for a period longer than two years, Council Tax will be charged as per the table below.
|Effective date||Empty period||Premium||Total Charge|
|1 April 2020||2-5 years||100%||200%|
|5 years +||200%||300%|
|1 April 2021||10 years +||300%||400%|
The following types of property are excluded from these provisions:
- A dwelling that is the sole or main residence of a member of the armed forces who is absent due to service
- An annexe treated as part of the main dwelling
Please note: The premium charge also does not apply if your property falls into one of the above exempt classes.