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Find further information on your council tax and bills.

Banding appeals

Can I appeal against my property’s valuation band?

It’s the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that values domestic properties for council tax, not the Council. This valuation is used to set your council tax band. You might need to contact the VOA if you think your council tax band is wrong.

You can find out more about when you can challenge your band and what you need to do at If you challenge your band, you must continue to pay council tax at your current band until your appeal is decided.

You can contact the VOA at If you are unable to use the online service you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501.

Who has to pay council tax?

Most dwellings are subject to Council Tax. There is one bill per dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented.

To work out who has to pay for your home (or "dwelling"), look down the list below. As soon as you reach a description which applies to someone in your home, that is the person who is responsible for the bill (the "liable person").

  • A resident freeholder (so, for owner-occupied property, the owner is liable)
  • A resident leaseholder (this includes assured tenants under the Housing Act 1988)
  • A resident statutory or secure tenant
  • A resident licensee
  • A resident
  • The owner (this applies where the dwelling has no residents)

A 'resident' is a person of 18 years or over who lives in the dwelling as their only or main home 

These rules mean that the owner-occupier(s) or resident tenant(s) [including Council tenant(s)] usually has to pay the tax. If the property is empty, or it is not anyone's main home, or if the people living there are under 18, the owner is responsible for the bill. Tenants do not have to pay Council Tax if their landlord lives in the dwelling. These rules do not apply in some special cases. If you require further details, please contact us.

How Council Tax is calculated

Council tax reductions

Go to Council Tax Reductions for information about the Council Tax Reduction scheme and other discounts.

Council tax penalties

The law allows councils to impose a £70 penalty to any person who:

  • failed to notify the authority, without reasonable excuse, on any matter which affects entitlement to discount
  • failed to notify the authority that an exemption of their dwelling should have ceased
  • failed to notify the authority that they have become jointly liable for council tax
  • failed to supply the authority with information requested to establish liability
  • failed to provide the authority with information requested after a liability order has been obtained

Where a penalty has already been applied and additional requests for the same information are made further penalties of £280 per subsequent failure may be applied, provided that:

  • the information is in the debtors possession
  • the information has been requested by the local authority for the debtor to supply it
  • the information falls within a prescribed definition of information

Empty homes review

We periodically undertake an Empty Homes Review across the borough to identify properties where our records indicate they are vacant, when in fact they are occupied.

If you receive a letter it is because the Council has a legal duty to maintain accurate records for the billing and collection of Council Tax. The purpose of the letter is to ensure the Council’s records are correct. Please complete and return the letter or email

Ukrainian refugees

The Government has set out guidelines to help protect Council Tax payers whose bills might have increased as a result of helping out under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This applies to all Ukrainian refugees who have permission to enter or to stay in the United Kingdom granted under the Governments Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
If you share of have let a property to a Ukrainian Refugee, please provide the address of the property, names of the refugees and date that they moved in. Please also provide any documentation you have to support that they have permission to enter or to stay in the United Kingdom granted under the Governments Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Please email

25% single person discount

If you are the only adult aged 18 or over living in your property and are receiving the 25% single person discount and you share your home with a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive a 25% discount. The refugee(s) will be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.

Occupied properties that are exempt

• Occupied only by students
Occupied only by persons under 18
• Occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired
If you are receiving an exemption for one of these reasons and you share your home with a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive the exemption.

Empty properties that are exempt

• Owned by a charity that is unoccupied for less than 6 months
• Left empty by someone who is in prison or detained
• Left empty by someone who has moved into a hospital of care home
• Left empty where the former owner has died and awaiting grant of probate
• Left empty awaiting occupation by a minister of religion
• Left empty by someone who lives elsewhere to receive personal care
• Class J – Left empty by someone who has moved out to provide personal care
• Left empty owned by a student
• Repossessed property
• Left empty by bankrupt individual
• Unoccupied property forming part of a property (annex) which cannot be let separately
If you are receiving an exemption for one of these reasons and you let your property to a Ukrainian refugee(s) you will continue to receive the exemption.

Unoccupied furnished or unfurnished properties where the full rate of Council Tax is being paid

If you are paying the full rate of Council Tax for an empty property and you let your property to a Ukrainian refugee(s) the Council Tax charge will be reduced by 50%. Please provide the names of the refugees, the date they moved in and evidence that they have permission to stay in the UK under the scheme. Council Tax Regulations require us to issue bills in the name of the residents and therefore the refugee will be liable to pay the 50% Council Tax bill. In some cases, the sponsor may wish to make payment on their behalf but the bill will remain in the name of the occupier, who could also make a claim for Council Tax Support.

Information for employers

The guide and fact sheets, found attached to the linked page, provide employers with regulatory information about Attachment of Earnings Orders.

Council Tax and Business Rates scams

Council Tax and Business Rates scams are becoming more prevalent, below are some of the methods a fraudulent agent may use:

  • insist you’re definitely in the wrong Council Tax band and are owed back payments on your Council Tax bill, when in fact your band is correct; say they’re from the local council or Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and ask for your bank details so they can provide a refund, then steal money from the bank account
  • claim that the VOA charges you to challenge your Council Tax band
  • claim that taxpayers must, by law, be represented by an agent to challenge their band, when in fact anyone can do this
  • state that they’re on an approved list of agents recognised by the VOA, when in fact the VOA does not keep any such list
  • tell you they have submitted an appeal to the VOA on your behalf and give you a forged acknowledgment notice when in fact they haven’t submitted an appeal

To avoid falling victim to these scams you should:

  • remember that you can have your Council Tax band checked free of charge by contacting the VOA
  • remember that you can find and check your business rates valuation online free of charge
  • contact a cold caller’s head office to check that they’re legitimate (make sure that your last call has ended properly and you have a dial tone before redialling the number)
  • contact the council or the VOA if you receive a call offering to reduce your band or rateable value, to check their story
  • inform the police if you believe that anyone is impersonating staff from your local council or the VOA
  • dial 999 if a doorstep cold caller refuses to leave your home
  • report any suspected scam to Action Fraud.