Council tax - discount


Council Tax discounts

The full occupied Council Tax charge is based on a property being occupied by two or more adults.

For Council Tax purposes some people are not counted as living at the property if certain circumstances apply.  These people are disregarded.

If there is only one adult living at a property or after we have disregarded people and are left with only one adult, then you will be entitled to a 25% discount. If all occupiers are disregarded then you will be entitled to a 50% discount or possibly an exemption.

Disregarded people include:

  • anyone under 18
  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices earning less than £195 gross and young people on Youth Training Schemes
  • patients living in hospital or a care home
  • people who are severely mentally impaired (please complete and return the application form)
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at school or have just left school
  • care workers who are paid no more than £44 a week
  • people caring for someone they live with who is disabled and not their partner or child
  • people who belong to a religious community
  • people in prison, unless they are in prison for not paying Council Tax or a fine, or detained elsewhere
  • people staying in some hostels and night shelters
  • members of visiting forces
  • diplomats
  • non-British spouse of a student or non-British dependant of a student

Your Council Tax bill will tell you if you are getting a discount. 


Can I get a discount if I'm disabled?

Your Council Tax can be reduced if a disabled person is living in the property. To get a reduction the property must have:

  • a room that is used mainly by the disabled person and is required to meet their particular needs. For example, the treatment of an illness or condition. A downstairs living or sitting room used also as a bedroom doesn't count.
  • an additional bathroom or kitchen needed to meet the needs of the disabled person. This needs to be a full bathroom not just an extra toilet.
  • adaption for wheelchair access and the wheelchair to be used indoors by the disabled person.

The reduction will be to charge as if the property was in the next lower valuation band. For example, if the property is actually in band B, we charge the tax as band A. If your property is already in band A, you can still get an equivalent reduction.


How do I claim a Council Tax discount?

You can claim a 25% single person discount using our online form.

For other types of discount we may need you to provide some proof of entitlement so please get in touch with us and we will help you with your claim.


What should I do if am getting a discount but my circumstances have changed?

You must tell us about the changes and we will tell you how it affects your discount. For example, if you live alone you must tell us if another adult moves in with you. Please complete our Change of Circumstances form.


What should I do if I think the discount on my bill is wrong?

If you think that the discount on your bill is wrong, you should tell us within 21 days and we will check.

Council Tax Discount and Exemption - important changes from April 2013

From 1st April 2013 the amount of Council Tax being charged on certain empty and unoccupied properties is changing.

For more information on these changes, visit our frequently asked questions page.

The changes from 1st April 2013

  • Properties previously granted a six month exemption due to being empty and unfurnished will be charged 100% Council Tax from 1st April 2013. If your property is part way through a six month exemption you will be automatically charged at 100% from that date.
  • Properties previously granted a 10% Long term empty discount (long term empty means a property empty and unoccupied between six months and two years) will be charged 100% from 1st April 2013.
  • Properties previously granted a 12 month exemption due to being unoccupied and requiring or undergoing major structural repair will be charged 100% Council Tax from 1st April 2013. If your property is part way through a 12 month exemption you will be automatically charged at 100% from that date. 
  • Most properties which have been unoccupied for over two years will be charged an empty home premium of 50%. So, if your property has been empty for over two years you may be charged Council Tax at 150% from 1st April 2013.
  • Properties previously granted a 10% second home discount will be charged at 100% from 1st April 2013 (this does not include tied accommodation that will continue to receive a 50% discount).

Our Empty Homes Service may offer you an interest free loan to help renovate and reoccupy a property that is currently empty. For more information, visit our Empty homes web page.

If you have proven financial hardship which has been caused by these changes, you may be able to claim discretionary Council Tax relief.

For more information about the hardship scheme, or the changes in general, please contact us.

Council Tax Discount and Exemption - What’s new from 1st April 2015 ?

Empty and Unoccupied Property Discount

From 1st April 2015, properties classed as empty and unoccupied will attract a 100% discount for a period of up to 28 calendar days. This applies from the date the property first becomes empty and unoccupied. If the property remains empty and unoccupied then, on day 29, Council Tax is charged at 100% of the normal occupied rate.

The decision to change from the 2014/15 charging structure where Council Tax was charged at the 100% of the normal occupied rate from day 1, was taken after listening to council tax payers and citizens concerns together with assessing the financial impact.

Useful forms