Council Tax discounts, reductions and exemptions

Council Tax discounts and reductions

Council Tax support

If you are:

  • On a low income
  • Sharing a home with someone over 18, who is not your partner, who doesn't pay rent and is on a low income (partner is someone you are married to or living with as if you were married)

you may be entitled to Council Tax Support.

Other discounts

Your household circumstances may mean that you can receive a discount or reduction on your Council Tax.

Single person discount

If you are the only adult living in your property, you will usually qualify for a 25% single person discount.

If your application is successful, you'll get a revised bill showing the discount. We might contact you to ask for further information. If we can't award the discount, we'll contact you to tell you why.

The single person discount does not apply:

  • to second homes
  • if someone who usually lives with you is temporarily living elsewhere, for example, working away from home, or serving in the armed forces
  • if someone is living elsewhere because they are at college or university

Discounts for annexes

Annexes that are occupied by a dependent relative are exempt from Council Tax. If the annexe is occupied by a non-dependent relative, or is furnished and used as part of the main property, there is a discount of 50%.

Discounts for apprentices

Apprentices who earn less than £195 a week aren't counted when working out how many people live at a property. If all the people living at a property are apprentices, or qualify for an alternative discount, then there is a discount of 50%. If all but one of the people living at the property qualify, there is a discount of 25%.

Discounts for carers

Carers aren't counted when working out how many people live at a property. The carer must be living in the same property as the person they are caring for, and cannot be their spouse or partner. If the carer is unpaid, they must be providing care for at least 35 hours each week. If they are paid, they must be earning less that £44 a week, and provide care for a minimum of 24 hours a week. The person who is receiving the care must also receive a qualifying benefit.

Discounts for nursing/care homes

If a property is being used as a nursing or care home, anyone living at the property and receiving care is not counted. In addition, any carers who live there, and who meet the criteria for carers, will also not be counted.

Discounts or exemptions for people who are detained or in prison

People who are temporarily absent from a property because they are detained or in prison are not counted. If the property is unoccupied because the resident(s) are being detained, a full exemption applies.

Discounts for religious communities

If a religious community occupies a property, and its members rely on the community for their material needs, then the members will not be counted, as long as they have no income or capital. The primary occupation of the community must be prayer, relief of suffering, contemplation, education or any combination of these.

Discounts for school leavers and child benefit

If someone has turned 18, but child benefit is still being paid, they will not be counted. In addition, if someone is under 20 and doesn't leave school or college until after the end of April, they will not be counted until the end of October.

Discounts or exemptions for the severely mentally impaired

If a doctor or other medical practitioner considers someone to be severely mentally impaired, and they receive a qualifying discount, they will not be counted. if everyone at the property is considered to be severely mentally impaired, then a full exemption applies.

Discounts or exemptions for students

Students aren't counted if they are on a full time course lasting at least one academic year and requiring 21 hours of study for at least 24 weeks. Students under the age of 20 are also not counted if they are on a course that lasts three months or more and requires 12 hours of daytime attendance each week. If everyone at the property is a student, a full exemption applies.

Foreign language assistants and foreign spouses of students who aren't allowed to work or claim benefit are also not counted.

Discounts or exemptions for diplomats, visiting forces and members of an international HQ or defence organisation

Diplomats, visiting forces, and members of international HQ or defence organisations are not counted. If anyone responsible for Council Tax is a member of a visitng force or a diplomat, a full exemption applies.

Discounts for youth trainees

Youth trainees aren't counted if they are under 25 and have a training plan under an approved scheme.

Reduction for disabled facilities

You might qualify for a reduction in your council tax if your home has special facilities to meet the needs of a disabled person.

Second homes

If you have a second home, you are no longer entitled to a reduction on your Council Tax bill. If, however, your second home is work related, you may still be entitled to receive the 50% reduction. Contact the Council Tax Team for further advice.

Empty homes and empty homes premium

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties are from 1st April 2017 entitled to a 28 day 100% discount. This discount is on the property and can only be claimed once even if there has been a change in ownership. If you have a property which has been empty and unfurnished for more than two years (regardless of any changes in ownership) you will have to pay a premium of 150% of the Council Tax.