The question of council tax and who is liable can often arise. Many local authorities will attempt to claim the landlord is always liable whatever the situation but what is the position?

For this article, it is assumed that your tenancy agreement contains a provision that the tenant is liable to pay for the council tax.

Owner always liable

An owner is always liable for the following properties regardless of what it might say in the tenancy agreement (because statute overrules contract)

  • Care homes and hostels
  • Religious communities
  • Houses in multiple occupation
  • Second homes with domestic servants
  • Ministers of religion
  • School boarding accommodation
  • Accommodation occupied by asylum seekers

Houses in multiple occupation

For this article we only need concentrate on Houses in Multiple Occupation

You must never confuse the definition of a house in multiple occupation contained in the Housing Act 2004 with the council tax provisions. The two are completely different.

For council tax purposes, the definition of an HMO is as follows:

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