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Council Tax account information

Last updated 18 January 2016

Who has to pay Council Tax?

If you own or rent a home and are an adult over 18 you will usually have to pay Council Tax.

There are some exceptions to who we count as an adult (called a disregard) – see the full list of who counts as an adult for Council Tax.

Council Tax is used to pay for council services as well as towards the Greater London Authority spending. It’s calculated using bands set by the Valuation Office and charges set by the Council and the GLA.

Council Tax bands and charges

You may be able to get a reduction or discount if you:

  • live on your own

  • are the only person in your house who cannot be ‘disregarded’ an adult

  • have a certain adaptation for people with disabilities

Read Council Tax discounts, reductions and exemptions to find out what reductions you may be able to get.

Who is responsible for paying Council Tax

You will be held legally responsible (liable) for paying Council Tax if you are:

  • the owner of the property who owns the 'freehold'

  • the person who owns the lease

  • a tenant (including a council tenant)

  • someone who has a license to live in the property

  • someone who just lives there

If no adults live in a property as their main home, the owner or leaseholder of the property is responsible for paying the Council Tax bill.

Joint liability

Two or more people can be jointly liable for paying Council Tax if they all have the same interest in the property they live in.

This situation applies where you are:

  • joint tenants or joint owners

  • married couples, civil partners and couples who live together

It is important that you identify everyone responsible for paying the bill, because anyone responsible for paying can be held responsible for the full amount.

When a non-resident owner will be responsible for the bill

If the owner of the property doesn’t live there, he or she will be responsible for paying the bill if:

  • No adults live in the property as their main home

  • The property is let to more than one household, for example hostels, or buildings containing bedsits with people who share facilities

  • The property is a residential care home, nursing home or mental nursing home

  • The property is occupied by a religious community or ministers of religion

  • If domestic service staff live in the property

  • The property is occupied by asylum seekers

Disputing liability

If you think you are wrongly named on the Council Tax bill, please contact the Revenues and Benefits Service. Tell us why you think you’re not responsible for paying Council Tax, and send us any proof you have. We will look into the matter, and write to tell you of our decision.

Appealing your Council Tax bill

You can appeal if:

  • You think you’re not responsible for paying the Council Tax

  • You’ve claimed a discount or exemption and this hasn’t been awarded or has been refused

  • You think any item on your bill (apart from Council Tax Support) has been worked out incorrectly

  • A claim for disability reduction hasn’t been granted

  • You have to pay a penalty

  • If we have sent you a completion notice, and you don’t agree with the date on it.

If you want to appeal about these matters, please email us at and put "appeal" as well as your account reference in the subject field, or call us on 020 8496 3000 to speak to an advisor.

Moving home

If you move into or out of Waltham Forest, or if you change homes within Waltham Forest, it is important that you let the Council Tax team know.

Report your change of address 

Report a change in circumstances

If your circumstances change after you have been granted a discount or exemption, it could affect your entitlement. These changes include:

  • another adult over 18 moving in to your property,

  • another adult over 18 no longer meets the criteria for any discount/disregard already being awarded

  • disablement relief no longer applies as the person the relief has been awarded for is no longer resident

  • a child turning 18 or is no longer in full time education or receiving child benefit

You must tell us about any changes in circumstances that would affect your discount or exemption, within 21 days. You can tell us by do this by filling out a change in circumstances form.

 Complete a change in circumstances form


Manage your Council Tax account online (self-service)

You can manage your Council Tax account online using the Connect service.

You can:

  • check your Council payments

  • check your balance

  • print copies of your bill

 Register to manage your Council Tax bills and account online

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