Council Tax is obligatory upon adults who own or rent a house in England, Scotland and Wales. The amount of council tax that one has to pay depends upon their personal circumstances as well as the value assigned to their property by the Valuations Office Agency. 

Local councils collect these taxes every month to provide community-based services such as fire trucks, police, garbage collection, roads, parks, schools and elderly care. Each council follows their own council tax scheme and spending plan.

Since it is a property-based tax, it applies to the premises not the number of people in a household. However, the number of adults versus non-adults living in a household may determine whether a full, half or quarter tax is due upon them.

Do I Have To Pay Council Tax If I Live With Parents?

Maybe, you will have to pay council tax if you live with your parents; this depends on a varied set of circumstances, which include the following:

  • your age (whether or not you are above 18 years of age)
  • if you are a full-time student
  • whether you are employed or receiving state benefits
  • whether you are living with parents to take care of them
  • if you are living with your parents because you need care

Council tax is not applicable to all the residents of a household but is, in fact, mandatory upon those adult members of a family who are either registered to pay council tax for their home or considered as liable, depending upon their position in the hierarchy of liability.

However, a full council tax is applied with the understanding that the premises are occupied by two adults. In case, they are partners or spouses, both of them are jointly liable to pay. If they have children younger than 18 years of age, the children are not liable for payments. If they have children above the age of 18 but they are full-time students, council tax will not be levied upon them either. 

If you have not been living with your parents earlier and have recently moved in with them, your addition to the household may have an impact on the council tax reductions that they were in receipt of earlier. Any changes to a household must be reported to the local council https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council office so that they may advise accordingly.

To learn about this, we will discuss the following areas in this article:

  • Who Does Not Count As An Adult?
  • Who Has To Pay Council Tax?
  • Do My Parents Get Council Tax Reduction If I Live With Them?
  • Who Gets Council Tax Reduction?

Who does not count as an adult?

Since council tax is applicable only to adults, individuals who are not counted as adults (despite being above 18 years of age) are exempt from payment of this bill. The following list includes people who are not counted as adults for Council Tax:

  • children under the age of 18 years
  • full-time college and university students
  • individuals on apprentice schemes
  • student nurses
  • foreign language assistants who are registered with the British Council
  • live-in carers 
  • those under the age of 25 getting funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency
  • people suffering from a severe mental impairment

Who Has To Pay Council Tax?

Council tax bills are sent in the name of the person who is registered as the one ”liable” for such bills. This means that even if someone is living with their parents they are not responsible for making council tax payments if they are not considered to be liable for them by the local council office.

Council tax becomes payable upon those who fall under the hierarchy of liability; which looks something like this:

  • at the top of the hierarchy is the resident who owns either the leasehold or freehold of the property;
  • the second in line is a resident tenant;
  • this is followed by a resident who is not a tenant but lives on the property;
  • then comes any resident occupying the property;
  • and finally, the owner of the property while it remains unoccupied

However, unless the council tax bill is sent to your name, you are not liable to pay. To make sure that there is no miscommunication or that any council tax payments are missed, it is best to inform them when there are any changes to a household. For instance, if you have lived somewhere else previously and have recently started living with your parents, or if you are already paying council tax at your home and are living with your parents temporarily or if you are living with your parents to take care of them.

Do My Parents Get Council Tax Reduction If I Live With Them?

If your parents were benefitting from council tax reduction earlier on and you have recently (or planning to) move in with them, chances are that they may no longer be eligible for the discount that they were earlier benefitting from. This is applicable if you are an adult (above 18 years of age) and not a full-time student.

If you are a working adult, you are expected by the law to be contributing towards the housing costs of the premises you occupy. If you share that premises with your parents, you are liable to share bills with them (including those of council tax payments); whether or not your parents want you to contribute to their household expenses.

In fact, if your parents were receiving Housing Benefit prior to your moving in, they would lose their benefits considering that there is an additional member in the household with a steady income. 

Who Gets Council Tax Reduction?

Council tax reduction is applicable in the following cases:

  • a 25 per cent discount on the council tax bill is applicable if the claimant is the only adult living on the said premises. They must be living on their own or may count as the only adult in the house. This means that other occupants of the premises are under 18 years of age.
  • a 50 per cent reduction on the council tax bill becomes applicable if all the residents of a household are under 18 years of age. 
  • a 100 per cent discount may be availed by residents if all of them are full-time students 

For a quick online assessment regarding your eligibility for a council tax reduction, click here to contact your local council office Apply for a Council Tax discount

Conclusion:

Just because someone lives with their parents, does not mean that they must pay council tax. There are the age and income-based criteria that determine the implication of council tax, and if the situation is temporary or permanent. In any case, the best way forward is to inform the local council office incase of any changes to one’s household and seek their advice with regards to changes to council tax payments as a result of these changes.  

FAQs; Do I Have To Pay Council Tax If I Live With Parents?

Does everyone have to pay council tax?

Council tax is due upon one individual in the household who is said to be “liable” for council tax payments. In case of a house being occupied by spouses or partners, they become jointly liable for council tax bills. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot be qualified as being liable.

Do landlords pay council tax?

Landlords are required to pay council tax only under two conditions; if the property in question is unoccupied or if there are multiple residents paying rent for individual spaces within the premises.

Can you get council tax written off?

Only under extreme financial hardship can an individual qualify for their council tax debt to be written off.

How long can someone stay without pay council tax?

Usually council tax exemption may only be applicable for a short period; perhaps up to six months in case the premises are not occupied or remain unfurnished. However, occupied properties are not exempt from council tax bills. 

Who Is Eligible For Council Tax Exemption?

Anyone who is more than 18 years of age, owns or rents a propoerty is eligible for council tax payments. A full council tax is based upon two adults living int he same premises.

References:

Council Tax: Who has to pay

Paying council tax

The five things you must do when your partner or adult child moves in

Who is responsible for paying Council Tax on a property?

What happens to council tax when my child turns 16+?

Council Tax Advice and Counselling Service

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