Global IT issues affecting online forms and systems

We are currently impacted by the global IT issues. As a result, a number of systems are affected including the majority of our online forms. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Freeman of the Land

Some people - including those calling themselves 'Freeman on the Land' - think they don’t have to pay Council Tax because they wrongly believe that:

  • they're only bound by laws they've consented to
  • they're not bound by acts of parliament as they didn't agree to being governed by parliament
  • old or irrelevant laws and parts of the Magna Carta stop us enforcing Council Tax legislation
  • they must have a contract with us before they’re required to pay

This is wrong in law and is no reason to avoid paying, as liability for Council Tax:

  • is determined under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and related regulations
  • doesn't depend on consent or a contract with us

Council Tax is a local tax that helps pay for various services such as:

  • refuse collection
  • street cleaning
  • road maintenance
  • street lighting
  • schools
  • libraries

It also contributes towards the cost of services provided by the Greater London authority (GLA) such as:

  • police
  • fire brigade
  • other London-wide organisations

The Local Government Finance Act 1992 gives local authorities the right to charge Council Tax which is then used to fund these services, which are provided to the residents of our borough.

You can’t choose whether you’re liable for Council Tax, as liability is decided according to statutory law. Calling yourself a ‘Freeman of the Land’ does not exempt you from paying Council Tax.

The liability to pay Council Tax as set out in The Local Government Finance Act 1992 - along with the related legislation, statutory instruments and regulations - is non-consensual. It is a statute which was created by a democratically elected Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent.

While we aim to investigate and respond to all genuine liability disputes and queries, we won't respond to lengthy templates and articles. This includes Freeman of the Land enquiries which are an expense to other residents within our borough and have no legal basis in statute.

There are several websites giving wrong and misleading advice about Council Tax law. If you’re considering using that type of information, please get professional legal advice.


Council Tax legislation is available on the website including:

Problems paying

If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax, go to our Council Tax page for help and advice on how to pay and manage your debt.

Page last updated: 04 October 2023


Privacy settings