Council Tax Reductions
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. The primary legislation relating to Council Tax is contained within the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Further information can be found within the UK Statute Law database: www.legislation.gov.uk
Council Tax Reduction due to Low Income
Council Tax Support is a local scheme to help you pay your Council Tax if you are on benefits or a low income, whether or not you are working. This is administered by the Benefit Section. Please visit Council Tax Support for further information.
Single Person Discount
If you are the only adult in your home (aged 18 or over) and the property is your sole or main residence, 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 use our online form to apply.
Unoccupied/Unfurnished Landlord Discount
- Only applies to unfurnished rental properties
- Landlords may receive a discount for up to eight weeks in order to maintain property standards in between tenants, after which time the full charge becomes due. Properties that have recently been purchased with the intention to let out, may also fall under these criteria.
Find out further eligibility information and claim
Job Related Second Home Discount
A second home discount where accommodation is traditionally provided in order for better performance in the job role. Examples of types of jobs include a tenant publican, member of the clergy, school caretaker. A second home rented for convenience to work will not be eligible for this discount. A 50% discount can apply.
Find out eligibility information and claim
Family Annexe Discount
Most annexes are exempt (see exemption classes T & W). If an annexe is not exempt and is lived in by a family member or used by the resident of the main dwelling a 50% Council Tax discount can apply on the annexe.
Find out more eligibility information and claim
Exemptions from Council Tax arise from Section 4 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The Act provides that Council Tax is payable on chargeable dwellings and is not payable on exempt dwellings. Therefore, sometimes you may not have to pay any Council Tax on a property. We call this an ‘exemption’. Exemptions can apply to both occupied and unoccupied properties.
- Class N: students
- Class S: where all residents are under the age of 18
- Class U: people who are severely mentally impaired
Some unoccupied properties are exempt for a limited period whilst others will remain exempt for as long as they remain unoccupied. Examples of some properties which are exempt for a limited period include:
- Class B: an unoccupied property (furnished or unfurnished) which is owned by a charity and has been unoccupied for less than 6 months. The property must previously have been used for the purposes of the charity up to the date that it became unoccupied.
Please note this exemption does not apply to new properties.
- Class F: an unoccupied property (furnished or unfurnished). When a property had been occupied by a single person, who either owned or rented the property and that person dies, the property is exempt from Council Tax payment for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted. Following a grant of probate, a further six months exemption is possible as long as the property remains unoccupied and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.
Examples of some properties which are exempt without a time limit, providing that there have been no change in circumstances include:
- Class D: left empty by someone who has been detained (unless for non payment of fines or council tax).
- Class E: left empty by someone who has moved to receive care in a hospital or care home.
- Class F: an unoccupied property (furnished or unfurnished) where the owner has passed away and the property is being held within the Estate. This exemption is open ended UNTIL probate is granted or Letters Of Administration are made.
- Class G: occupation is prohibited by law or has a planning restriction
- Class H: waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
- Class J: left empty by someone who has moved to provide personal care to another person
- Class K: properties left empty by a student owner
- Class L: properties that have been repossessed
Please note that the above are only broad descriptions of some of the exemptions that are available.
Please visit our Exemption page for a full list of exemptions, eligibility information and to claim.
When looking at the number of residents in a property for council tax purposes certain persons can be disregarded or ‘not counted’ when we look at the number of residents aged eighteen or over who are resident. Categories include for example, full time students, apprentices, carers (resident in the dwelling and cannot apply in relation to a partner or child under the age of 18). If the number of adult occupants who are not disregarded is either one or none, a reduction can apply. If one adult is counted a reduction of 25% applies. If all adults can be disregarded then a 50% reduction is applicable.
Find out further information and claim
Having a disability does not automatically entitle you to the disabled reduction as the grounds for making a claim are very specific. The requirements state that the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person (whether adult or child) and at least one of the eligible criteria must be met.
Further disabled reduction information (PDF, 161KB).
Please visit our Disabled Band Reduction page for eligibility information, examples and to claim.
Your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the valuation band below yours. For example, if your home is in band D, your bill will be reduced so that it is the same as a band C. If your property is in band A (the lowest Council Tax band) your bill will be reduced by 1/9 of the charge for band D.
Under Section 13a of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Council has the power to reduce liability for Council Tax in relation to individual cases where national discounts and exemptions cannot be applied.
For further information please refer to the Section 13a procedure (PDF, 162KB).
Reductions will not normally be backdated for more than 12 months unless there is a good reason why it was not claimed earlier. Claims over this period should be accompanied by a Backdated Reduction Claim Form (PDF, 122KB).
Please note that with any reduction claimed it is important to contact us at an early date if there is any change in circumstances. You must make payment in line with your existing bill pending the result of any claim for a reduction.
Authority to Disclose Information
The Authority to Disclose Form (PDF, 82KB) is used by the Revenues Service to provide full account information to a third party, as authorised by the individual completing the form. The authority will remain in place until we receive notification for the authority to be removed.
Where can I get advice?
You may wish to contact an independent organisation for Council Tax advice:
Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
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