Council Tax discounts and exemptions

There are a variety of Council Tax discounts, reductions and exemptions available and they apply in various circumstances.

Council Tax is based on the assumption that there are at least 2 adults (people aged 18 or over) living in the property.

Council Tax Reduction

From 1 April 2017 there will be a change to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Working age residents will have to pay a minimum of 15% towards their Council Tax charge. In January 2017 we will write to anyone who may be affected by this change.

Individuals or couples where both people are over  pensionable age will not be affected.

Anyone who is exempt from paying Council tax because they are severely mentally impaired or a student and live on their own will not be affected by this change.

If you are on low income you may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction.

Single Person Discount

If you are the only adult in your home (aged 18 or over), we can give you a single person discount of 25%. If your circumstances change and you are no longer the only adult in your property you will need to cancel your discount with us.

Please complete the appropriate online form:

Your property is unoccupied or is a second home

Those with job related second homes provided by an employer for reasons of employment may be eligible for a 50% discount if certain conditions apply:

  • the duties of the job make it necessary for you to live there. For example a publican who owns their own home but their contract states they must live in the pub they run
  • the accommodation is provided for the better performance of the duties of the employment and it is usual for employers to provide accommodation. For example a caretaker or church minister
  • there is a threat to the employee’s security or special security arrangements are in force and the employee resides in the dwelling as part of those arrangements

Long term empty properties

If your property is empty and unfurnished you will have to pay the current 100% charge. An extra 50% will be charged on properties that are empty for 2 years or more. This will be in addition to the current 100% charge.

Discounts for people who aren't counted

Certain people aren't counted when working out the number of adults who live in your home, therefore your bill will be reduced. If 2 adults live in your property and we do not count 1, you can apply for a 25% discount. You can apply for a 50% discount if all the adults are not counted.

When someone is not counted, this means that they are ‘disregarded’ for Council Tax discount purposes.

Who do we disregard?

  • 18/19 year olds for whom child benefit is being paid or 18 and 19 year olds who leave school or college between 30 April to 1 November
  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth trainees  
  • students or a student's non British spouse or dependants 
  • patients living in hospital 
  • persons who are living in nursing or care homes 
  • certain care workers and carers 
  • those detained in prison, hospital or by a court order (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax, or paying a fine 
  • severely mentally impaired 
  • resident of certain types of hostels 
  • members of visiting forces and their families  
  • members of international headquarters and defence organisations and their families 
  • members of certain religious communities

If you think you are eligible please download and complete the appropriate form:

Exemptions

Sometimes you may not have to pay Council Tax on a property. Most exemptions only apply when no one lives in a property, but sometimes occupied properties are exempt.

Unoccupied properties (class description)

  • B - property owned by a charity that is unoccupied for less than 6 months
  • D - property left unoccupied by someone who has gone to prison
  • E - property left unoccupied by someone who has moved into a hospital or care home
  • F - a property left unoccupied because the former owner has died. The exemption lasts for up to six months after probate has been granted and providing that the property has not been passed to beneficiaries, sold or re-let before that time
  • G - property which is empty because occupation is forbidden by law
  • H - an unoccupied property waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • I - property unoccupied by someone who lives elsewhere to receive personal care
  • J - property left unoccupied by someone who has moved out to care for another person
  • K - property left unoccupied by a student and was last occupied by that student
  • L - repossessed property
  • Q - property left unoccupied by a bankrupt individual
  • R - a vacant caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • T - unoccupied property forming part of another property (annex) which cannot be let separately

Occupied properties (class description)

  • M - students halls of residence
  • N - property only occupied by students
  • O - property used by the armed forces
  • P - property occupied by visiting forces
  • S - property occupied only by people under 18 years of age
  • U - property occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired
  • V - property occupied by diplomats or members of certain international organisations
  • W - self contained annexes occupied by elderly or disabled relatives 

A 50% discount may be granted for annexes used by the owner or tenant of the main building or occupied by a member of his or her family.

If you think you are eligible please download and complete the appropriate form:

Disabled reduction

You may be able to claim a reduction off your Council Tax bill if your property is the only or main home of someone who is substantially and permanently disabled. Read our disabled reduction page  for more details.

Penalties

When a reduction is awarded, you are required to notify us within 21 days of any change in your circumstances. Failure to do so or knowingly supplying false information may result in:

  • an overpayment
  • a fine of £70
  • a further penalty of £280 imposed for subsequent failures to provide information requested
  • criminal prosecution (through a Magistrates Court)

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