Discounts and Exemptions

Am I entitled to a discount?

Council Tax is made up of a property element and a personal element. The personal element is based on at least two persons aged over 18 being resident in a property.

A 25% discount may be claimed if there is only one person over the age of 18 living in a property.

For billing purposes we do not count some people.  These are:

  • persons under 18 years of age
  • persons over 18 years of age in respect to whom child benefit is still payable
  • care leavers
  • students
  • student nurses
  • apprentices on a low wage
  • persons detained in prison
  • the severely mentally impaired
  • long term hospital patients
  • persons in residential care or nursing homes
  • certain carers and care workers
  • members of religious communities who have no income
  • members of International Headquarters or defence organisations
  • certain school leavers under 20 years of age
  • persons of no fixed abode resident in hostels
  • members of certain international organisations such as NATO

If all of the people living in a property fall into one or more of the above categories then a 50% discount may be claimed.

( Application Forms for Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions )

I own a house which is no one's main residence, can I claim a discount?

An 100% levy is added to properties that are long term empty dwellings. These are defined as:

  • Unoccupied for over 12 months
  • Not a second home (as defined below)
  • Not entitled to a 50% reduction (as defined below)

No discount or levy will be granted/applied on properties which are second homes. These are defined as:

  • No one’s sole or main residence
  • Furnished
  • Occupied other than a sole or main residence for a minimum of 25 days in any 12 month period (Evidence will be required)

A 50% discount may be claimed in some circumstances.  These are defined as:

  • purpose built holiday homes not allowed or unfit to be used for human habitation throughout the whole year
  • an empty dwelling owned or tenanted by a person required to live elsewhere as a condition of their own, or their spouse’s employment and who is not a director of the company providing the dwelling ie where the specific accommodation is tied to the job
  • a job related dwelling occupied by a person who is the owner or a tenant of a dwelling elsewhere which is their sole or main residence
  • a dwelling undergoing major repairs or reconstruction for the six month period from the date of purchase by the liable person (This can be extended up to two years in some cases)
  • a dwelling undergoing major repairs or reconstruction for up to twelve months following the exemption detailed below

( Application Forms for Council Tax Discounts and Exemption )

A disabled person lives in my house, can I get a reduction in Council Tax?

Where a property is the sole or main residence of at least one disabled person, the liable person may qualify for a reduction provided one of the following conditions is satisfied:

  1. a room has been provided to cater for the disabled person's specific needs
  2. a second bathroom or second kitchen has been provided for use by the disabled person
  3. where sufficient floor space has been provided to permit the use of a wheelchair within the property and that a wheelchair is being used.

The valuation band we use to work out the council tax will be one band lower than the normal property band.

( Application Forms for Council Tax Discounts and Exemption )

What properties are exempt from Council Tax?

There are categories of property which are exempt from Council Tax. These are:

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished properties (maximum exemption of six months from the date the property became unoccupied)
  • Unoccupied new properties (maximum exemption of six months from the date the property was completed)
  • Unoccupied property where the last occupant is the liable person and is in hospital, a nursing home, or in residential care on a long term basis, or providing care, or is in prison
  • Unoccupied property which is undergoing major repair work or structural alteration (up to a maximum of twelve months from last occupation date)
  • Unoccupied property previously only occupied by students (a maximum of four months exemption – to cover the period from the end of one academic year and the start of the next)
  • Unoccupied Agricultural Dwellings
  • Unoccupied property where the liable person is a student
  • Unoccupied property which is owned by a Housing Body and is kept with a view to being demolished
  • Unoccupied property held by a Registered Charity (maximum six months exemption)
  • Unoccupied property repossessed by a bank/building society
  • Unoccupied property where the liable person has died and no grant of confirmation has been made (and for up to six months after grant of confirmation has been made)
  • Unoccupied property available for occupation by a Minister of Religion
  • Unoccupied property where occupation is prohibited by law
  • Property where liability falls to be met solely by a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Property occupied only by persons who are severely mentally impaired and in receipt of qualifying benefits.
  • Property occupied only by students
  • Property occupied only by persons under 18 years of age.
  • Property occupied only by care leavers aged 25 and under
  • Property held by Housing Association as a trial flat
  • Ministry of Defence armed forces accommodation

( Application Forms for Council Tax Discounts and Exemption )