Dealing with your priority debts

Council tax

The amount of council tax you pay is based on:

  • the value of your home (homes are placed in a band - A to H in England and A to I in Wales); and
  • the number of adults who live in your home and their status.

Who pays what?

Only people over 18 can be made to pay the bill. If there is more than one person over 18 living in your home, the owner will normally have to pay the bill if they live in the home. Joint tenants and owners may have to pay even if their names are not on the bill, as long as the council sends them a 'joint taxpayers notice'.

If you are either married, live with your partner, or live together in a same-sex civil partnership, both you and your partner will be responsible for paying the bill.

Sometimes the owner of a house will be responsible for the bill even if they don't live there, for example, if the house is unoccupied, or in 'multiple occupation' such as bedsits. If you are not sure who is responsible for the bill, contact us for advice.

Can I reduce my bill?

You may get a reduction if someone living in the house has a disability. Apply to the council for this. Only some properties will qualify. Contact a local welfare rights agency or contact us for advice.

You will also get a discount in the following circumstances.

  • If you are the only adult in the property; or
  • you share your house only with people who are not counted for council tax purposes, such as:

- a full-time student or student nurse;

- an apprentice or someone on a youth-training scheme (only certain ones apply); or

- someone with a mental disability who is getting certain disability benefits.

Tell the council if you think you may qualify for a discount. Check how this works with your local council.

You may be able to claim a rebate called 'Second Adult Rebate'. Check how this works with your local council.