Different types of council tax discounts and exemptions
Single person discount
The single person discount is 25% off your total council tax bill. You can claim single person discount if:
- You're the only adult aged 18 years or over solely or mainly resident in the property, or the other adults living in the property are not counted for council tax purposes.
It's difficult to provide documents or other evidence showing that you live alone, but the sort of evidence that might be acceptable would be copies of claims for various state benefits, e.g. council tax support or housing benefit, which involve declaring your personal circumstances. We can then check this with the council's benefits section.
If someone else in your household is working away from home or taking extended holidays, this is not usually enough to qualify you for a single person discount. In the case of married or unmarried partners, even if someone is away a lot of the time because of work, the 'marital home' remains their residence for council tax purposes.
Also, adult children taking extended holidays are usually considered to have their main residence at the 'family home' unless their absence is total and very long, i.e. years rather than months.
If your circumstances change
You must tell us, within 21 days, about any change in your circumstances which may affect your entitlement to single person discount. If you don't, you could be charged a penalty of £70.
Examples of changes that may effect your discount:
You have stopped being the only adult living the property
- Someone in the property is no longer considered as a person who is not counted for council tax purposes
If in doubt, please email us for advice.
Backdating your discount
You should apply for a discount when you first become entitled, because it is almost impossible to check backdated claims. We will not usually backdate a discount more than a short period unless you have a very good reason for not applying at the right time, and you can provide evidence to support this.
Not realising that you needed to apply is not a good reason as information regarding the discounts is made available in the council tax booklets, which are issued to every home with your council tax bill each year. Each application will be treated on its own merits.
If you want us to consider backdating your claim a long way, you should send your application explaining why you didn't apply when you first started living alone and provide any evidence you may have to support your claim.