Council tax is a charge, decided locally, which contributes towards services in your area. It applies to all non-business properties although some may be exempt depending on the circumstances.
Council tax is made up of several charges from different organisations but we are responsible for billing people and collecting it.
Depending on where you live, there is also a further charge from the local town or parish council, or the Charter Trustees if you're in the City of Durham area. They set their own charge and this will vary from area to area.
See how we work out your council tax bill on our how much is my council tax? page.
Council tax has to be paid on every property that is not exempt. Every council tax bill is addressed to the person or persons that we consider liable to pay it.
In most cases, over 18s living in the property who own or rent will be liable for council tax. If more than one person owns or leases the property, they will be equally responsible. The partner of someone is also jointly liable for council tax, whether or not they are married.
If no one lives in the property then the owner of the home will be liable. Owners and landlords are also responsible for properties that are specifically built for many people to live or stay in such as hostels, care homes and student accommodation.
One council tax bill is sent to the property and will be addressed to everyone who is jointly liable. You will need to make any arrangements needed for splitting the bill between the people responsible. Where a bill is sent in joint names we cannot issue separate bills to each person or work out how much each should pay.
Find out what we do with your council tax on our what does council tax pay for? page.
Our make an appeal about council tax page tells you how to appeal if you think your bill has been calculated incorrectly or you think your property is in the wrong band.