A House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) for council tax purposes, is one that was originally constructed or subsequently adapted for occupation by persons who do not constitute a single household.
Definition of a HMO in council tax legislation
A property which was originally constructed or subsequently adapted for occupation by persons who don't constitute a single household or:
- is inhabited by a person who, or two or more persons each of whom either,
- is a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling; or
- has a licence to occupy, but is not liable (whether alone or jointly with other persons) to pay rent or a licence fee in respect of, the dwelling as a whole. Generally a house in multiple occupation will be a property occupied by more than one household and more than two people, and may include bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats
If the above is determined then it is the owner that is liable to pay council tax.
As the owner of an HMO property you are required to hold a licence in order to continue to let the property legally. Find out about licences for HMOs.
Any disputes are not reason to withhold payment of council tax, you are advised to pay as billed.