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Discounts and exemptions

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two or more adults living in the property

Single person discounts

If only one adult lives there (as their main home), the bill will be reduced by one quarter (25%).

If you would like to apply download an application form for a single resident discount.

People not counted as living at a property

Certain people are not counted when working out how many people live at a property for Council Tax. If the number of adults at the property that count for Council Tax is one a 25% discount is awarded, if it is zero a 50% discount is awarded. The groups of people that are not counted are those people that are;

  • In prison or detained by a court order
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • 18 or 19 year olds who are still at school or have recently left school
  • Full time students, including student nurses
  • Government supported trainees under 25
  • Apprentices earning up to £195 per week
  • Long-term residential patients in hospital or care home
  • Carers (in some cases only)
  • Members of religious communities (such as monks and nuns)
  • Members of visiting armed forces, or of certain international and defence organisations or have diplomatic privileges and immunities
  • Staying in certain hostels or night shelters.

Strict conditions apply to each group.  More information about each discount can be found on each application form.

Exempt properties

Certain classes of properties are exempt from Council Tax, this means there is no bill to pay. Some exemptions apply for a fixed time and others apply until there is a change of circumstances.

The classes of properties that are exempt are:

  • A – (This class no longer applies).
  • B – Unoccupied for less than six months and owned by a charity.
  • C – (This class no longer applies).
  • D – A property left empty by a person in detention (e.g. in prison).
  • E – A property left empty by a person who has become a patient resident in a hospital or care home
  • F – An unoccupied property that forms part of the estate of a person who has died (in which case the property is exempt for up to 6 months from the grant of probate or letters of administration), or an unoccupied property in which the deceased person was a tenant of the dwelling at the date of death and an executor or administrator is liable for rent or a licence fee.
  • G – A property where occupation is prohibited by law.
  • H – An unoccupied property which is awaiting occupation by ministers of religion from which they will perform their duties.
  • I – A property left empty by a person who has moved to receive care.
  • J – A property left empty by a person who has moved to provide care to another person.
  • K – A property left empty by a student who has moved away to study.
  • L – A property repossessed by a mortgage lender
  • M – Student Halls of Residence.
  • N – A property occupied only by full-time students.
  • O – A property owned by the Ministry of Defence, and used as accommodation for armed forces personnel.
  • P – A property where the liable person is a member of a visiting armed force.
  • Q – An Unoccupied property which is the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee.
  • R – A property consisting of a caravan pitch or a boat mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or houseboat.
  • S – A property occupied only by under 18 year olds.
  • T – An unoccupied property which forms part of a single property which includes another property and may not be let separately from that other property without a breach of planning control. (S.171A Town & Country Planning Act 1990) for example an annexe.
  • U – A property occupied only by a person or persons who is or are severely mentally impaired who would be liable to pay the Council Tax.
  • V – A property where the liable person entitled to diplomatic privileges or immunities.
  • W – A property that is a self-contained unit attached to or within the grounds of another property, where one of the self-contained properties is occupied by a dependent relative of a person who lives in the other part of the property.

If you think your property may be exempt, download an application form.

If your bill shows that an exemption has been allowed, you must tell the Council of any change of circumstances which affects your entitlement within 21 days of the change occurring. If you fail to do so, you may be required to pay a penalty.

Job-related second homes

A second home is a property that is furnished but is not anyone's main home. The Council does not normally allow any discounts for second homes. However, in some circumstance a person may be entitled to a 50% discount if that property or their main home is job related.

To qualify one of the properties must be job-related, provided for reasons of the employment, and either;

  1. Be necessary for the proper performance of the job and the employee lives in the property;
  2. Be provided for the better performance of the job and the job is one of the kinds of employment where it is usual for the employer to provide a home for the employee; and
  3. There is a special threat to the employee’s security, special security arrangements are in force and the employee lives in the property for those security reasons.

To qualify for the 50% discount the property must be provided by an employer under a contract of employment and the person must be required to live in that particular property to do their job. A discount cannot be award because it is convenient for a person to have a second home due to their work.

Download an application form for a job-related second home discount.

You must tell the Council about any changes within 21 days. 

If your bill shows that a discount has been allowed you must tell the Council of any change of circumstances which might affect your entitlement within 21 days of the change happening. Otherwise you may be required to pay a penalty.

Discretionary reduction

In very exceptional and deserving circumstances the Council may use its discretion to reduce the amount of Council Tax a person is due to pay.  The Council has agreed a policy that it will follow in considering any requests for a discretionary discount.

Please read the policy for more information and for details of how to apply.

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