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We own a joint property in the UK, and are full taxpayers of all taxes including standard rate council tax band for the region.

But my partner will be going abroad for a significant amount of time (6 months+). Will I be able to claim the single person discount for council tax, if I am living alone in the property (thus using less of council services like rubbish collection, libraries, etc)?

It looks like that - because it's a lot of revenue, so councils try to sideline this scenario stating that - you still own property jointly, so ignoring the fact that only 1 person is living there (thus using less of council facilities).

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The government website says:

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill.

You’ll get 25% off your bill if you count as an adult for Council Tax and either:

  • you live on your own
  • no-one else in your home counts as an adult

Who owns the property is not relevant to this assessment.

In any case, there's probably no harm in applying for the discount and seeing what happens.

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  • Clever council people still decline in that case, stating you still own the property jointly. – user2451016 Nov 26 '19 at 15:23
  • @user2451016: are you saying you asked them, and that's what they said? – Steve Melnikoff Nov 26 '19 at 15:26
  • I enquired with them & their general attitude was we don't normally allow single person discount if you've bought the property jointly, whereas in case of renting that doesn't seems to be issue. – user2451016 Nov 27 '19 at 14:29
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    @user2451016: I've been unable to find any source to back up their claim. All the sources I've seen state the same as in my answer. I'd still recommend applying (when your partner leaves). It's a few minutes of your time, and it could save you a lot of money. Don't forget to update the council when your partner returns! – Steve Melnikoff Nov 27 '19 at 16:12
  • @user2451016: having said that, if your partner is going on a trip (as opposed to moving out), but your home remains her home while she's on her trip, then that's a bit of a grey area. – Steve Melnikoff Nov 28 '19 at 9:29

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