Discounts, exemptions and reductions
The full council tax bill assumes that two adults live in your property (sometimes referred to as a 'dwelling') as their main home.
Single person discount
If only one adult (someone over 18 years old) lives in your home you’ll get 25% off your bill, this is called 'single person discount' - find out more about single person discount here.
Some households may be entitled to other types of discount or exemption, some broad guidelines are shown below.
If you think that a discount or exemption should apply to your property please contact us. If your bill shows that a discount or exemption has been granted but you think that you are not entitled to all or part of it then you should tell us immediately (you may receive a penalty if you don't).
Properties that are no-one's main home
If a property is furnished but it is no-one’s main home, a full council tax charge will apply.
If a property is unoccupied and unfurnished then there will be nothing to pay for the first three months. The period cannot exceed three months even if there is a change in ownership. After three months a full council tax charge will apply.
If the property is still empty after two years then a 50% premium will be charged on top of the full council tax bill from then onwards (equivalent to a 150% charge).
Properties undergoing major repairs
If a property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and requires (or is undergoing) major repair works or structural alterations to make it habitable, then there will be nothing to pay for the first 12 months. No discount will apply after this period.
These are just guidelines, please contact us for more details.
Council tax exemptions
An exemption may apply in some circumstances, meaning that no council tax is charged at all. These are just brief summaries, please contact us for full details:
B: A property which is owned and was last occupied by a charity and which has been unoccupied for less than 6 months.
D: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) is now in prison or is detained under the Mental Health Act.
E: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now lives in a hospital or nursing home.
F: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident has died and -
(i) the deceased person was the sole owner and the council taxpayer is now the executor/ administrator, or
(ii) the deceased person was the sole tenant and the executor/administrator is now liable to pay rent.
Exemption lasts for up to 6 months after the grant of probate or letters of administration has been made whilst one of the above conditions is still met.
G: A property which is unoccupied where occupation is prohibited by law.
H: A property which is unoccupied and is held for occupation by a minister of religion as a residence from which to perform his duties.
I: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now resides elsewhere in order to receive care by reason of old age, illness, disablement, etc.
J: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident (who is still the owner or tenant) now resides elsewhere in order to provide care by reason of old age, illness, disablement, etc.
K: A property which is unoccupied because the previous resident is a student undertaking a course of education which commenced within six weeks of the property becoming unoccupied.
L: A property which has been re-possessed under a mortgage.
M: A property which comprises a hall of residence providing accommodation for students.
N: A property which is occupied by one or more residents ALL of whom are students (including persons to whom the discount disregard class Q applies).
O: A property owned by the Secretary of State for Defence which is held for the purposes of armed forces accommodation other than accommodation for visiting forces.
P: A property occupied by members of visiting forces.
Q: An unoccupied property where the owner is a trustee in bankruptcy.
R: A vacant caravan pitch or vacant boat mooring.
S: A property only occupied by persons under 18.
T: An unoccupied dwelling which along with another dwelling forms a single property and which would be difficult to let separately (eg a granny flat).
U: A property occupied only by severely mentally impaired persons where one or more of those persons would otherwise be liable to council tax.
V: A property which is occupied by a diplomat as a main residence where that person would otherwise be liable to pay the council tax.
W: A dwelling which along with a second dwelling forms a single property and which is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative of the occupiers of the second dwelling (eg a granny flat).
In some cases, discounts may be granted to households that have two or more adult residents. This is because some people are disregarded (not counted as residents) if they fall into special categories. If after disregarding those people there are less than two other adults resident in the property then a discount of either 25 or 50 per cent may be granted.
The descriptions given below are brief summaries, ask us for full details.
A: People detained either in a prison, hospital or other place by order of a court or under the Mental Health Act 1983 or under the Immigration Act 1971
B: People who are severely mentally impaired as certified by a registered medical practitioner and in receipt of certain state benefits.
|Severe Mental Impairment Disregard Application Form||(pdf 212 KB)|
C: People over 18 in respect of whom child benefit is payable.
D: Students undertaking a full-time course of education. A full-time course is one which lasts for at least one academic or calendar year, undertaken for at least 24 weeks per year and consists of study, tuition or work experience for an average of at least 21 hours per week.
E: Students under 20 undertaking a course of education which is not higher education which lasts for at least 3 months, is not a correspondence course, requires attendance over 12 hours per week and is undertaken principally between 8.00am and 5.30pm.
F: Persons appointed as foreign language assistants at a school or other educational institution and who are registered with the British Council.
G: Student nurses.
H: Apprentices undertaking training which will lead to a qualification accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and are employed at a salary or in receipt of an allowance or both, which are, in total no more than £195 per week gross.
I: Youth training trainees under the age of 25.
J: Patients living permanently in NHS or military hospitals.
K: Patients living permanently in a residential care home, a nursing home, a mental nursing home or a hostel who are receiving care and/or treatment in the home or hostel.
L: People employed to provide care to another person on behalf of a local authority, the Crown or a charitable body for no more than £44 per week.
M: People providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average to another person (who is not their spouse and who is not their son or daughter under 18 years old) who is entitled to certain state benefits.
N: Persons of no fixed abode living in hostels or night shelters.
O: Members of International Headquarters and Defence Organisations and their dependants.
P: Members of religious communities whose principal occupation consists of prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering and who have no income or capital of their own.
Q: Persons under 20 who have ceased to undertake a course of education that would entitle them to be disregarded under class E above after 30 April. They will then be disregarded until 31 October of that same year or to the date of their 20th birthday, if earlier.
R: Persons who have a relevant association with a visiting force.
S: Spouses or dependants of foreign students.
A dwelling is a place that could be used as someone's home, such as a flat, house or bungalow. Caravans, park homes and boats may also be counted as dwellings if they are someone's main home.