Is Council Tax Per Person Or Household?

Council Tax is a monthly payment that covers the expense of community-based services provided by local council authorities. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether council tax rates are applied on the basis of a household or on a per-person basis. Additionally, we will also explore the calculation of council tax on the basis of valuation bands assigned to properties as well as assess whether children who live with their parents have to pay council tax.    

Is Council Tax Per Person Or Household?

Council tax is applied per household depending on the market value of the property and the valuation band assigned to it by the Valuation Office Agency. These bands run from A through H with the lowest rate of council tax applying to Band A and Band H being the highest band.

Once the bands are assigned, the council tax rates predetermined by the council authority in each district are applied to properties. Due to the variation in council tax rates applicable to properties in different councils, there can be a different council tax rate that applies for Band A in one council versus the council tax rate that applies to the same band in a different council.

That said, the only case in which council tax is affected by the occupancy status of a property is when the number of adults is accounted for. If you live alone or you are the only adult in a household, you will get a 25% discount on your council tax bill due to the occupancy status. A full council tax bill is calculated under the assumption that there are two adults living in a household.

Council tax is not applicable to all the residents of a household but is, in fact, mandatory upon those adult members of a family who are either registered to pay council tax for their home or considered liable, depending upon their position in the hierarchy of liability. For instance, a council tax bill in the case of a joint tenancy will carry the names of both (or all) tenants. On the other hand, if you are a married couple, in a civil partnership or in a live-in relationship, even if your name is not mentioned on the council tax bill, you are equally liable for council tax payments as your partner. 

How Are Council Tax Bands Assigned?

The valuation office agency conducts a survey of properties and assigns their market value according to the prevailing rates dated back to 1991 (to offset the effects of inflation). On the basis of this valuation, a council tax band is assigned on the basis of the below categorisation:

Council Tax BandProperty Value
AUp to £40,000
BOver £44,000 and up to £52,000
COver £52,000 and up to £68,000
DOver £68,000 and up to £88,000
EOver £88,000 and up to £120,000
FOver £120,000 and up to £160,000
GOver £160,000 and up to £320,000
HOver £320,000 

For a deeper perspective; the average property band in the UK is Band D which applies to properties valued between £68,000 and £88,000. However, the highest council tax is currently being paid by residents in Nottingham in England for £2,226, while the residents in Westminster pay the lowest rate of council tax at £829. 

Do Children Have To Pay Council Tax If They Live With Their Parents?

No, children do not have to pay council tax if they live with their parents as council tax applies to anyone who is above 18 years of age. Even if you are 18 years of age or older, you are not liable to pay council tax if you continue living with your parents under the following conditions: 

  • a full-time student or in an apprenticeship program
  • receiving state benefits
  • living with parents to take care of them
  • living with your parents because you need care
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants who are registered with the British Council
  • under the age of 25 getting funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • suffering from a severe mental impairment


The discussion in this article brings us to the conclusion that council tax applies to a household on the basis of the property value that they live in, the council tax band assigned by local councils as well as the rate of council tax that applies to each band (this amount varies from council to council). However, the only time council tax rates take into account the number of people living in a property is when a single-person occupancy entitles the resident to a 25% discount and the addition of an adult to the household nullifies that entitlement.

FAQs: Is Council Tax Per Person Or Household?

Is council tax more if you live alone?

No, you don’t pay more council tax if you live alone. In fact, you get a 25% discount on your total council tax bill if you live alone or you are the only adult in a household.

Does council tax have to be in joint names?

No, it is not necessary for council tax bills to be in joint names unless it is a case of joint ownership or joint tenanacy.

Does everyone have to pay council tax?

Council tax is due upon one individual in the household who is said to be “liable” for council tax payments. In case of a house being occupied by spouses or partners, they become jointly liable for council tax bills. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be qualified as being liable.

Why is my council tax higher than my neighbours?

The reason why your council tax is higher than your neighbours could be due to a variation in the size, layout, purpose or use of your respective properties. It may also be due to the reason that your neighbour qualifies for a council tax reduction while you may not.

What is the highest council tax in the UK?

The highest council tax in the UK applies to Nottingham, Dorset and Rutland where the average annual council tax for Band D properties is estimated at around £2,226, £2,223, and £2,195 respectively.


Who pays council tax and what are the charges?.

How Council Tax works: Who has to Pay – GOV.UK

Paying council tax – Citizens Advice

Council tax explained –

Council tax: Why do some areas pay more and how can you reduce your bill