Challenges to the legality of council tax

The Freeman on the Land movement, along with similar groups, commonly believe that individuals are bound only by statute laws they consent to. This confuses law relating to contracts and alleged rights under common law with the legislation related to the administration and collection of council tax. 

Council tax liability

The liability to pay council tax falls under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and later regulations. This is a statute created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom, which has received the assent of the Crown. The information about who is liable to pay council tax can be found in Part 1, Chapter 1, Sections 6 -9. Individual agreement to this is not necessary.

As council tax is a statute, liability for council tax is not dependent on, and does not require, consent or the existence of a contractual relationship with the council. It is determined in accordance with statutory regulation, the liability for this confirmed by the council tax demand notice issued for each year.

The issue of a Council Tax Demand Notice (the bill) creates the debt. A signature, either digital or ‘wet ink’, or an agreement from a resident is not necessary for council tax liability as it is a tax, not a contract.

Freeman on the land arguments have previously been considered and ruled against by the courts. Anyone who withholds payment will have recovery action taken against them.


The legislation that covers council tax is available from the Government Legislation website including;

There are many misleading articles and templates on the internet regarding the legality of council tax. Seek proper legal advice before using them as a defence against council tax liability based on contract, consent, and common law.

If you have questions regarding acts of Parliament or laws, please direct them to a legal professional. 

You can find details of qualified lawyers in your area through the The Law Society.

London Borough of Lambeth is a local authority within the Public Sector and does not have a company number. Our VAT number is GB235884435, though council tax is outside the scope of VAT so we are unable to provide a VAT invoice.

Further enquiries

We do our best to answer all relevant enquires about council tax.

We will respond to any enquiries regarding information covered on this page with a link to this page and advice to seek professional legal advice.