Living Alone? Cut your Council Tax Bill by 25%

Courtesy of CAB Advice Guide:

If only one adult lives in a property, they will get a 25 per cent discount on the council tax bill. When working out how many people live in a property, some people are not counted. These are called disregarded people.

You are disregarded if you are:

  • aged 17 or under
  • a prisoner or someone in detention awaiting deportation or under mental health legislation
  • ‘severely mentally impaired’
  • full-time students on a qualifying course of education (including correspondence or on-line courses); student nurses; Foreign Language Assistants on the official British Council programme
  • a spouse, civil partner or a dependant of a student who is a non- British Citizen and who, under immigration rules, is not allowed either to work in the UK or claim benefit
  • a young person on a government training scheme or following some kinds of apprenticeship
  • a long-term hospital patient or care home resident
  • living in a hostel which provides care or treatment because of your old age, physical or mental disability, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental illness
  • living in a bail or probation hostel
  • a live-in care worker
  • staying in a hostel or night shelter, for example, in a Salvation Army or Church Army hostel
  • a school or college leaver aged under 20 and you have left school or college after 30 April. You will be disregarded until 1 November of the same year whether or not you take up employment
  • aged 18 and someone is entitled to Child Benefit for you
  • a member of a religious community
  • a member of a visiting armed force. Your dependants are also disregarded.

If everyone who lives in the property is disregarded, there will still be a council tax bill, but there will be a 50 per cent discount.

If you are staying at the property but it is not your main residence, you also count as disregarded. If you are the only person living there and your main property is somewhere else, this property will count as your second home.

Example 1: You are ‘severely mentally impaired’ and live in a property with your carer. You are both disregarded people. You are entitled to a 50 per cent discount on your council tax.

Example 2: You are living alone in a flat on a temporary basis because of a short-term job. Your main home is somewhere else, where you’re paying council tax. You are a disregarded person. However, the flat counts as your second home and so you might get a discount of between 10 per cent and 50 per cent. This depends on the policy of the local authority where your second home is located.

A local authority may automatically send a council tax bill which includes a discount. The discount will be shown on the bill.

If you believe that you are entitled to a discount and your bill does not show that you have had one, you should apply to the local authority for a discount, as soon as possible.

If the bill shows that the local authority has applied a discount and you do not think that you should have one, you must tell the local authority within 21 days. If you do not do this, the local authority may later impose a penalty.


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