Does Council Tax Depend On The Number Of Occupants?

This blog answers the question “Does Council Tax Depend On The Number Of Occupants?” It mentions the situations where the tax is reduced for people living alone under the Single Person Allowance and conditions where occupants other than the owner, do not count as council tax payers.

Does Council Tax Depend On The Number Of Occupants?

Yes Council Tax calculation does depend on the number of residents of a property and is cut up to 50% for a single occupant who is also staying in a UK government accommodation such as the Salvation Army, a full-time student, a full-time worker residing in the place of work, a diplomat, etc

The value of council tax for 2 adults living together in a property or more persons than this does not get discounted through the Single Person Allowance. So having more occupants does mean more council tax but the basic tax amount is based on the value of the property.

Beyond 2 occupants of a property, the extra residents living in a house or building don’t add to your council tax bill. Members of the family or other cohabitants who decide to live on someone else’s property (permanently) with the owner’s consent only affect council tax calculation by not leaving the Single Person Allowance applicable to it. 100% or full council tax is entitled to homeowners with 2 or more residents (more can mean 10-20-30 cohabitants permanently residing there).

Your liability for paying council tax does change when your register your property to be rented out and tenants move in. Council tax payments for tenants do accumulate per person so each tenant has to pay tax for living on the property.

Requirements of the Single Person council tax reduction scheme

To receive the single-parent allowance, you must live alone. You are not alone if you live with your spouse, your civil partner or if you live in concubinage.

What is cohabitation

 Concubinage, also called marital life or common life, is the fact for two people of the same sex or opposite sexes to live together as if they were married or bound by a civil union. This implies sharing the same accommodation. The same address implies shared housing, to contribute financially or materially to household expenses, regardless of resources from the other person… 

As for a married couple, it is for the other person to participate:

  •  financially (payment of rent, electricity, water, shopping, etc.) 
  •  materially (education of children, household, etc.). …notoriously… 

It is the fact of being considered by those around you, the town hall, the school, the merchants, as living in permanent cohabitation. We will only take your cohabitation into account if it is stable over time. 

Notify us immediately of any change in circumstances: resumption or start of common life, marriage. Otherwise, we would be obliged to ask you for the reimbursement of benefits received. 

What is the Widowed Parent’s Allowance for single mothers?

The allowance was formerly known as the Widowed Parent’s Allowance and currently as the Bereavement Support Payment (if your spouse passed away after 6th April 2017) has the following requirements:

  • You are receiving child benefits for at least one child
  • You are under the state pension age, which is 65 years for men and 66 for women
  • Your late husband, wife, or civil partner made National Insurance Contributions or had died of a disease or industrial accident
  • You may also claim the Widowed Parent Allowance if you were pregnant when your partner passed away.

The maximum payment you can get from the widowed parent’s allowance is £126.35 a week

I am living on my own, am I entitled to a discount?

The council tax bill requires at least 2 adults to be living on a property

So according to this principle such applicants who are single are entitled to a 25% tax discount and those who also fall into the following categories are entitled to a 50% Tax Discount :

  • A single parent living with your children (who don’t count for tax purposes as they are under 18)
  • Someone working under a  government training scheme or an apprenticeship scheme
  • A full-time student
  • A Nursing School Student
  • Foreign Language translators registered with the British Council 
  • Anyone who is seriously mentally handicapped 
  • Anyone staying in accommodations such as these: The Salvation Army, The Marylebone Project
  • Someone in prison
  • A person living in a bail or probation hostel
  • A person who is living in a hospital for an indefinite period of time or undergoing treatment there for a number of years
  • A foreign envoy

All of these above-mentioned people need to be living alone as well 

You can also get a discount for living with any of these people :

  • People who have Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons’ disease
  • Military Members from a country other than the UK 
  • People pursuing full-time jobs in property premises( they should be residents for at least 35 hours a week)
  • Monks and Nuns; which applies to other monks or nuns living with them in the monastery who can get upto a 50% tax discount. They are naturally counted as single persons

What is Bereavement Support Payment?

The bereavement support payment is money that you might be able to claim if your husband, spouse or civil partner died after 6th April 2017

There are two rates of bereavement support payment:

  • The first option is that you could get £2500, followed by a further 18 monthly payments of 100
  • If you’re responsible for a child under the age of 20, the second option applies and you could get £3500 followed by a further 18 monthly payments of 350

You can claim the Bereavement Support Payment under the following conditions:

  • The bereavement happened on or after 6th April 2017
  • You were under state pension age when your spouse or civil partner died
  • Your partner paid National Insurance Contributions for at least 25 weeks in any single tax year since 1975
  • You were resident in the UK at the time of the death of your partner

Are any joint benefits from the disability living allowance for my spouse or civil partner (also aged over 65)?

If you also qualify for Income Support, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to receive the Allowance if your spouse or common-law partner :

  • is between the ages of 60 and 64
  • is a British citizen
  • Has lived in the UK for at least 10 years since the age of 18;
  • your combined annual income is below the maximum annual income threshold for the Allowance.

You may be eligible to receive the Allowance for the survivor if you are

  • you are between the ages of 60 and 64
  • your spouse or common-law partner has died and you have not remarried or entered into a common-law relationship
  • your annual income is below the maximum annual income threshold for the Allowance for the survivor.

Evidence is not considered in the medical assessment of the contributor’s ability to work.

Council Tax bill payments don’t depend on the number of occupants, they are based on the “rateable value” of your property which forms the basis of the selection of your Council Tax Band.

How many Council Tax Bands are there?

There are 9 Council Tax Bands. Band A, Band B, Band C, Band D, Band E, Band F, Band G, and Band H and Band I. Council tax Band A is for properties valued up to £40,000. Council tax Band B is for properties valued between £40,000 and £52,000. Council tax Band C is for properties valued between £52,000 and £68,000.

 Council tax Band D is for properties valued between £68,000 and £88,000. Council tax band E is for properties valued between £88000 and £120,000. Council tax band F is for properties valued between £120,000 and £160,000. Council tax band G is for properties valued between £160,000 and £320,000. Council tax band H is for properties valued above £320,000

What is my total yearly council tax amount for each of the council tax bands?

Your yearly council tax bill depends on which council you live in, so your bill could be different from a person living in another council by a maximum of a few hundred pounds 

If you live in Bristol Council, your yearly tax is:

  • £1486.91 for a property valued in Band A
  • £1734.73 for a property valued in Band B
  • £1982.55 for  property valued in Band C
  • £2230.37 for a property valued in Band D
  • £2726 for a property valued in Band E
  • £3221.64 for a property valued in Band F

Council tax on a Single Parent living with children

You are a lone parent if you live alone with your dependent children, and if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are single
  • You are divorced
  • You are separated


This blog post addressed the question ”Does Council Tax Depend On the Number Of Occupants?”Yes, Council Tax Does depend on the number of occupants, if there are many occupants each one will share the tax burden equally and for couples and Single Persons, or children living on the property there are equitable reductions in the tax.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Does Council Tax Depend On The Number Of Occupants?

What is Support for Mortgage Interest?

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is a loan to help you pay for the interest on mortgage payments. If you have enough equity in your property, you will eventually be paid back what you borrowed (either when your property is sold, its ownership is transferred or it forms part of your estate after your death)

You could get varying help from the SMI Loan in these 2 cases:

  • You receive Pension Credit. In this case, you can get help on paying interest up to £100,000
  • You don’t receive Pension Credit. In this case, you can get help on paying your mortgage interest loan up to £200,000

In most cases the SMI Payment is made directly to your lender, the interest is calculated at 2.09%(compounded interest rate)

You can be eligible for claiming the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) loan if you receive one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit

I only rent a room, do I have to pay council tax?

No, as your home is in multiple occupation, you don’t have to pay council tax. Your landlord is responsible for this payment. If there are 3 or more tenants living in a rented property, they are jointly accountable for council tax. You just have to pay your agreed rent amount to the landlord for the room.

Why is the house down the road in a lower band than mine?

All properties were valued in the UK on 1st April 1991 and this is how the bands are calculated so the house down the road was worth less than your property back then. If you move into a new residence you need to make an appeal on disputing the value of your council tax within the first 6 months and pay the old tax amount during this time. If the appeal is successful you will be refunded the overpaid amount


Income Tax allowances for married couples from the House of Commons Library Commons Library Research Briefing 17th May 2022 by Antony Seely