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Council tax discounts

Date updated: 11/10/2020

Single persons discount

A 25% single persons discount is available if you are the only adult resident (over 18) and it must also be your sole or main residence.

What does 'sole or main residence' mean?

The definition of an individual's sole or main residence for council tax purposes is not sufficiently defined within council tax legislation. If there is uncertainty about which property is your main residence we will ask for further information about your personal circumstances.

The following factors, identified by cases considered by the High Court, have provided guidance to local authorities:

  • the reasons why you have two addresses
  • where a wife, husband, civil partner or partner lives, if applicable
  • where any dependent children live, if applicable
  • the legal tie to each address
  • where the majority of belongings are kept
  • whether you intend to return to one address eventually for example after the expiry of a work contract
  • whether anything prevents you from returning to a property whenever you want to
  • which address seems to be your most settled home or which seems to be a family home
  • the amount of time you spend at each address and the pattern of that occupation during the working week.

The factors stated above are in no order of importance, nor is the list exhaustive. In each case we will establish the facts of occupation and then determine which property is your main residence for council tax purposes.

Main residence of spouses, civil partners and unmarried couples

When considering the sole or main residence of couples (married or not) it is normally held that couples have one main residence even if both own or rent different properties. 

We will contact you if further information is required. Provided the qualifying conditions are met a reduction will be applied to your council tax account.

National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise managed by The Cabinet Office, a ministerial department of central Government; the NFI exercise matches electronic data within, and between public and some private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud and/or error. As part of this NFI exercise, claims for council tax discounts, such as a single occupier discount are cross checked against databases provided to the NFI by the City of London and other participating bodies.

Claiming a single occupier discount 

To claim a council tax single person discount complete a council tax incoming occupier form. 

City of London Council Tax Incoming Occupier Form PDF (164KB)
Date submitted: 2/10/20

Discounts where some or all residents are disregarded (including students)

Certain people are not counted when working out the number of adults who live in your home

A 25% discount is awarded where there is more than one resident, but all but one of them are  disregarded persons.

A 50% discount may be awarded if all residents are disregarded. 

For council tax disregard persons include:

  • full-time students, for further information about the criteria and how to apply see council tax exemptions
  • a student's spouse or dependent who is not a British citizen and who is prevented by the terms of their entry visa from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits
  • People under the age of 20 who are at school or have just left school
  • people on some apprentice schemes
  • people with a severe mental impairment
  • patients resident in hospital and care homes
  • care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner, or child under 18
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • diplomats or people who benefit from diplomatic immunity and certain members of their household.
  • people in prison, except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine.

To apply for a disregard discount contact the Council Tax Team

Disabled Band Reduction

Council tax band reductions concern properties with occupiers who are disabled.

If one of the occupiers is physically disabled, the amount of council tax payable may be reduced, provided that there is one or more of the following which is required for meeting the needs of the disabled person:

  • a room
  • a second bathroom or kitchen
  • sufficient floor space to allow the use of a wheelchair

The person must be substantially and permanently disabled by illness, injury or congenital deformity.

For properties in bands B to H, relief is awarded by basing the tax on the band immediately below the one assessed by the Valuation Office Agency. However, for properties in band A, a reduction equivalent to one ninth of the amount of council tax at band D is given.

To apply for a disabled band reduction contact the Council Tax Team

Discounts for people living in annexes

From 1 April ​2014 a discount is available for people living in annexes provided they are related to the person liable to pay the council tax of the main dwelling, and for people living in dwellings with annexes which are unoccupied provided they are using those annexes as part of their main residence. A 50% reduction in the amount of council tax may be applicable providing the qualifying criteria are met.

To apply for an annex discount contact the Council Tax Team