Council tax reduction if you live with an adult who is not your partner

06 November 2023

If you live with another adult, there are several ways in which your council tax reduction could be affected.

On this page
If you are jointly liable for council tax

If you are jointly liable for council tax with one or more adults (other than your partner) your maximum council tax reduction is your share of the total council tax liability. If you are not jointly liable for council tax, other adults might instead count as ‘non-dependants’ (see below).

Who is a non-dependant

An adult who normally lives with you, and is not either your partner or jointly liable for council tax with you, is normally classed as a ‘non-dependant’. Living with them can affect the amount of your council tax reduction.

There are some exceptions to who counts as a non-dependant.

Who is not a non-dependant

An adult who lives with you is not a non-dependent if they are:

  • a young person under 20 who is still at school and either:
    • included in your council tax reduction claim, or
    • included in the benefit claim of someone else who lives with you
  • a paid carer who lives with you, if you contribute to the cost of the care
  • someone who is ignored when working out the council tax bill. Read more about who might be ignored when working out the bill.
How your council tax reduction can be affected by non-dependants

If you live with one or more non-dependants, your council tax reduction can be affected in one of two ways.

Non-dependant deductions

Normally, the presence of one or more non-dependants reduces your maximum council tax reduction (as they are expected to contribute to the council tax bill). However, no deductions are made for any non-dependants if you or your partner get:

  • attendance allowance
  • personal independence payment or adult disability payment daily living component
  • disability living allowance or child disability payment care component at the middle or high rate.

Some industrial injuries benefits and war pensions also count for this rule.

In addition, no deduction is made for any non-dependant who:

  • normally lives elsewhere
  • is a member of the armed forces away on operations who normally lives with you
  • is a full time student (even during the summer vacation)
  • has been in hospital for over a year
  • gets income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or pension credit
  • gets universal credit and does not have any earnings.
The amount of non-dependant deductions

If a deduction is made for a non-dependant, the amount of it depends on whether the non-dependant works 16 hours or more a week, and if so what their income is. You may need to ask the non-dependant to give details of their income to the local authority, to make sure that the right deduction is made.

Second adult rebate

If another adult who lives with you has a low income, you may qualify for a second adult rebate. This is instead of getting the main council tax reduction, and normally reduces your council tax bill by a maximum of 25 per cent. The local authority looks at whether the second adult rebate would be more than the normal council tax reduction, and awards you whichever reduces your council tax bill most.

If you are under pension age, you can only get a second adult rebate if either you have savings under £16,000, or your income is too high to get another type of council tax reduction.

You will need details of the non-dependant(s) income to allow the local authority to calculate the second adult rebate. If the local authority thinks that you are trying to manipulate the council tax reduction scheme, it can treat a non-dependant’s income as if it was yours.

If you think that you may qualify for a second adult rebate, you should claim council tax reduction in the normal way. Find out more about how to claim council tax reduction.