Who is Liable to Pay Council Tax?

Information on who is liable to pay council tax and how to appeal against being held liable.

The person highest on the list below is usually responsible for paying:

  • The owner who is resident in the property.
  • The tenant who is resident in the property.
  • The subtenant who is resident in the property.
  • Someone else who is resident in the property.
  • The owner if nobody is resident in the property.

A resident for Council Tax purposes is a person who is 18 years or over and occupies the property as their sole or main residence.

A persons sole or main residence for Council Tax purposes is the property where they would normally reside.

Temporary absence from the property, even for a long duration, may not change that persons sole or main residence for Council Tax. Where a person has two properties that they reside at it is for the council to determine their sole or main residence for Council Tax purposes. In doing so the following may be considered;

  • Intention to return to a property.
  • Time spent at a property.
  • Security of tenure over a property.
  • Where the matrimonial home is (if applicable).
  • Voting registration.

Couples who are married or living together as such are responsible, jointly and individually, for paying Council Tax even if their names are not on the bill. Joint owners or tenants are also responsible, jointly and individually, for paying the Council Tax even if their names are not on the bill.

Note: 'Jointly and individually' means that the amount on the bill is not split into shares. We can choose to collect the full amount of the Council Tax bill from anyone who is legally responsible for it. It is then up to the person who pays to get back a share from everyone else.

Contact Us

For any queries relating to council tax liability please:

Telephone: 01506 282020 (option 2)

Email: counciltax@westlothian.gov.uk

Appealing against who is held liable for paying Council Tax

You can appeal against the decision that you are liable for paying Council Tax. You must continue to pay your Council Tax until we have made a decision on your appeal.

Your appeal must be in writing, clearly stating that you are appealing against being held liable for Council Tax and setting out the reasons for your appeal. Send your written appeal to:

Email: counciltax@westlothian.gov.uk

By letter to:

Revenues Manager
Revenues Unit
Civic Centre
Howden South Road
Livingston
West Lothian
EH54 6FF