Council tax discount criteria?

I moved up the midlands (from the south coast) sold / bought new house, new job etc. My 20yr old son eventually and unwillingly came to stay with me for 9mths (got a job – now resigned) but has now gone travelling for 3mths and will be going back down South to University immediately on his return (well 3 days visit to do his washing!). The council will not let me claim the 25% single occupancy discount (although they will have to anyway if and when he is a student) but I object as he is not living here and when he did he didn’t pay a bean as he was saving for his travels! He still hates me for moving in the first place and has made it abundantly clear this is not his home! Do I have to eradicate all signs of life from this house to prove he’s not living here? The Council tried to visit today – are they entitled to enter my house and search for evidence?
I was paying the full council tax while he was living here for nine months. He doesn’t live here now that is the point and he won’t be returning here to live as he will be going straight off to Uni.

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5 Responses to “Council tax discount criteria?”

  1. Politically Correct says:

    If your son was over 18 and not a full time student, he was liable to pay council tax. If you/he can show he was paying tax at another address, you will be able to claim the single person’s discount. Otherwise you will have to pay the full rate.

    The fact that he did not pay for his keep does not exempt him, neither does a three month trip abroad with his belongings left at home.

    Edit: Be careful with the ‘moved abroad’ tactic. The university needs a ‘permanent address’ for their records. You don’t want him being hit with international fees and no longer being eligible for a student loan do you? This could cost you a great deal more than losing the 25% discount for three months.

  2. jackie m says:

    Tell the council he no longer loves there and you are the only person there so you get your 25% discount, when they ask for his current address tell them he moved abroad, you do not need to let them into your house but even if there was some of his clothes there it doesnt prove he lives there, I live alone and claim the 25% discount but if the council search my cupboards they will find prams, cots and toys but I do not have any children living at home but my daughter uses my cupboard for storing the grandchildrens items as she has no space for them, I also have a suitcase of clothes belonging to my dad and various items but he doesnt live here as he died 6 years ago. Good Luck

  3. Alexanders Mummy says:

    You can’t get single person discount if your son is officially living with you, wherever his post goes, that’s his home.
    The council can come and visit to check he’s not living there, usually they’ll ask questions while (supposedly discretely) having a good look around, they did with me because someone told them my partner was living with me, but I checked the rules and he stayed over just under the amount of time to be classed as living with me.
    The 9 months your son was there he’s classed as living there whether he pays you anything or not.
    If you can get him to get his post to a different address and prove he doesn’t live there you should be entitled to the 25% discount. Unfortunately it’s difficult to prove someone doesn’t live somewhere. Good luck.

  4. elle says:

    It is the council decision to determine a persons sole/main residence. As your son has vacated permanently from the date he left to go abroad, you are entitled to claim single person discount. When he is a student who lives away at university you do not claim student discount for him, you are entitled to single person discount anyway as a student who lives away at university is determined to have changed their sole/main residence. The council have no legal right to enter your property and provided you give them as much information as possible, they should make the determination of his sole/main residence correctly. If they do not agree his sole/main residence has changed, you can challenge this in writing stating you wish to appeal this decision and it should be looked at again usually by billing team managers.

  5. Cala says:

    Until your son goes to university then his official address is with you. And as long as it is his official address then he is liable for council tax at that address.
    All the personal information is academic – he officially lives with you, and will continue to do so until he can supply another official address. The fact that he is off travelling means nothing – it is simply an extended holiday, and his official address remains the same.
    As far as I am aware, council tax officials do have the right to enter your property if they believe that you are withholding payment. If you don’t want to pay for your son then it is up to you to prove that he doesn’t live there or use the property as his home address.

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