Who pays council tax?

Council Tax will normally be payable by a person aged 18 years or more, whose sole or main residence is at the property concerned.

There is one council tax bill for each dwelling, whether it is a house, bungalow, flat, maisonette, mobile home or houseboat, and whether it is owned or rented.

Where there is more than one person in the property, the person liable for Council Tax is the one who falls into the highest category of occupation, as listed below. In the case of couples, both partners are individually liable for the charge.

The categories are:

  • The person who lives in the property and owns the freehold.

  • The person who lives in the property and has a leasehold on it.

  • The person who lives in the property as a tenant.

  • The person who has some other right to occupy the property, such as a licence.

  • Any other type of resident (for example a squatter).

  • The owner of the property (this applies where the dwelling has no residents).

This means that owner-occupiers or resident tenants (including council tenants) usually have to pay the tax. If the property is empty, or it is no-one's main home, the owner is responsible for the bill.

Are the residents always liable?

In some special cases the owner, not the residents, has to pay the council tax. These are:

  • Dwellings occupied by more than one household, where the residents pay rent separately for different parts of the dwelling and where the households perhaps share cooking or washing facilities, for example, some hostels, nurses' homes or groups of bed-sits.

  • Residential care homes, nursing homes (such as hospices), mental nursing homes or certain type of hostel providing a high level of care.

  • Religious communities such as monasteries or convents.

  • Dwellings which are not the owner's main home, but which are the main home of someone whom the owner employs in domestic service.

  • Vicarages and other dwellings where a minister of religion lives and works. (Where the owner-occupier is a Church of England minister of religion, the Church is responsible for the bill.)

If you live in such a dwelling, where the owner is liable, you do not have to pay the council tax. If your landlord is the liable person, they might be able to ask you to pay something towards the bill, depending on the terms of your agreement with them.

Does only one person have to pay in each dwelling?

In some cases, more than one person is responsible for seeing that the bill is paid. People who are joint owners or joint tenants are jointly liable. Generally, husband and wives of people who are liable are jointly responsible for paying the bill if they live in the same dwelling. This also applies where two people are living together as partners. A person who is severely mentally impaired will not be jointly liable.

Does each liable person receive their own bill? 

Your council may send the bill to just one of the liable people, to some of them, or to all of the liable people.

How does the Council know who is liable?

The Council may send out forms asking for information so that you can tell who should pay. If the Council sends you a form, you should complete it and return it to the Council. If you don't return the form, you may face a penalty.  A Sole or Main Residence Enquiry Form is available to through My Erewash.

What if I disagree with the Council's decision about who is liable?

If you disagree with the Council's decision about your liability, you should write to it, explaining what you object to and why. The Council has two months to provide an answer. If you still disagree with the Council, or if it has not acted within the two month period, you can appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. See how to appeal
You should continue to pay your original bill while your appeal is outstanding.

What happens if I move?

The council tax is worked out on a daily basis. If you move home you may stop being the liable person for your old home, and may become the liable person for your new home. If you tell your old council about your move it can adjust your bill and make sure that you pay the right amount. This is especially important if you move to a new council area as you may be due a refund, depending on the method you used to pay the council tax and how much has already been paid.

Change in Circumstances

If there is a change in circumstances, you must inform Erewash Borough Council immediately. For example, if you move address or you are no longer entitled to a discount or exemption.

Councils have powers to impose penalties where a person is required by law to provide information.  If a person either fails to provide information, or supplies information which he/she knows to be false, Erewash Borough Council can charge a penalty of £70 or £280.

If you wish to report a change of address you can do this via an online account where you will then be able to track the progress of your request.  You will be required to confirm the date of the move, details regarding the owners of the properties, or information about the tenancy such as the landlord's name and address. If a property is unoccupied, we will also need to know if it is substantially unfurnished or not, as you may qualify for an exemption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has my cash payment date changed from the 15th to 1st?

Nearly all Local Authorities in Derbyshire have a payment date of the 1st of the month. It is best practice and recommended by Auditors to collect instalments on the 1st of the month. This ensures that cash flow is maintained by Erewash Borough Council and to assist with improving collection rates. 

Can I pay over 12 months?

Yes you can pay over 12 months.  Please contact the Revenues Section to request this.

Do I need to cancel my Direct Debit after the last instalment has been paid?

No, Direct Debits will remain dormant until reactivated when the first instalment is due in April.

I am on a low income, am I entitled to a reduction of my council tax bill?

Council Tax Support is calculated using income received (means tested). The Benefits Section is able to give a manual calculation to see whether any entitlement is available.  All income is assessed on a weekly basis. If you or your partner have earned income, deductions are made for tax, national insurance and half of any pension contributions made. 

Certain categories of income are disregarded in whole or in part. These disregards have the effect of increasing entitlement to benefit by reducing the assessed income on which benefit is calculated. £16,000 is the capital limit for applications.

All persons over 18 years of age resident as part of the family are assumed to make a contribution to housing costs and therefore a deduction, known as a non dependant is made from possible entitlement.

The maximum entitlement to Council Tax Support is 100% of the Council Tax after any reliefs or discounts have been granted. 

I am a pensioner, am I entitled to a reduction of my council tax bill?

There is no direct reduction, however, you may be entitled to 100% Council Tax Support.  

Why have I received a bill when I receive full Council Tax Support?

There may have been changes to your circumstances that have affected the amount of support that is paid to you. 

Why is my neighbour paying a different amount?

There are many reasons why they may be paying more/less. Some of the reasons may be because the property is in a different band, a Discount/Relief granted, an Occupied Exemption has been granted, a person is in receipt of Council Tax Benefit, the dwelling is in a different Parish or the Taxpayer has moved in (or out) part way through the year (the Council Tax charge is calculated on a daily basis).

What is being done about the people who do not pay?

Residents can be assured that we are diligently collecting arrears from debtors and have recently taken proceedings in the Magistrates' Court for committal to prison for non-payment of Council Tax and Business Rates. Erewash Borough Council also  takes other enforcement actions, including applying for Bankruptcy Orders against individuals or Winding Up Orders for Limited Companies and Charging Orders where a claim can be made against a person's asset such as their home in appropriate cases. Bailiffs continue to be instructed to collect arrears that are outstanding and the Council has several hundred Orders for Deduction from Earnings and Benefits.

Why do I pay for services I never use?

Council Tax is a tax much like income tax and VAT and not a charge for different services.  Whether someone benefits from council services depends very much on the personal circumstances of those individuals concerned. Therefore, not everyone will benefit from all the services available.

The only service I receive is the collection of my bins.

The annual cost of waste collection per household is a small percentage of the overall Council Tax charge. For example, a Band A property in Ilkeston, the Council Tax for 2020/21 is £1,230.18 and the cost of bin collection is under 5% of the charge. For a band H dwelling, the annual charge is £3,690.52 for Ilkeston, which works out at under 2% of the total amount payable.

I live on an un-adopted road. Am I entitled to a reduction of my council tax bill?

Council tax is a tax, much like income tax and VAT and not a charge for different services.

Therefore there will be no reduction in your council tax bill to reflect the fact that you live on an unadopted road. However, this would have been taken into account when your property was valued and the valuation band adjusted accordingly.

What is the valuation band of my property?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which is part of the Inland Revenue, decides the Band that is included on your Bill.  Erewash Borough Council has no influence over which band your property is in. Its address is: The Valuation Officer for Erewash Borough Council, Valuation Office Agency, Durham Customer Service Centre, Wycliffe House, Green Lane, Durham, DH1 3UW.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Telephone Number: 03000 501 501  Contact Information for VOA

Why are there no police patrolling the streets in the area where I live?

The council is not responsible for this service and has no influence over their priorities.

Issues relating to the Police should be addressed directly to the Police and Crime Commissioner. Contact details can be found on its website.  Their contact details are:

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Butterley Hall
Ripley
DE5 3RS
Call 0300 122 6000.

Related Information:

Council Tax Information Leaflet 2020/21 (PDF 963.25 KB).