Council tax discounts
- Single person discount
- Second and empty homes
- Disabled band reduction
- Empty homes premium
- How to appeal
If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the council tax bill can be reduced by 25%.
Local Authorities are permitted, each year, to decide the rate of discount allowed for second homes (properties which are furnished, but are not occupied as anyone's main home) and empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties). For the 2023/2024 financial year, the discount has been set at 0% for both classes of property.
The Council Tax charge is based upon the number of people living in a dwelling. If you are 'disregarded' it means that we do not count you when we work out the number of people living in a dwelling.
When counting the number of people living in a dwelling, if there is just one person living there, a 25% discount may be granted. If all the residents at a dwelling are 'disregarded' a 50% discount may be granted, or in some circumstances a full exemption may apply.
If any occupiers of your property fall into any of the following categories then please contact the council tax section for details of how to apply, or fill in a form if applicable;
|Discount||Description||How to apply|
|Apprentice disregard||If you are an apprentice and earn less than £195 per week you may be disregarded.||Apply for apprentice disregard discount|
|Carer disregard||If you live with and provide care for someone on certain benefits you may be disregarded.||Apply for carer disregard discount|
|Foreign language assistant||If you are a foreign language assistant and are registered with the Central Bureau for educational visits and exchanges and appointed at an educational establishment.||Apply for foreign language assistant disregard discount|
|Full time student|
If you are on a full time course of education you can be disregarded. If the property is only occupied by full time students a Class N exemption may apply. You can apply for this reduction by using 'My council tax' account.
|Member of a religious community||If you are a member of a religious community and the principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education and the relief of suffering of others. You must also have no personal income or capital (excluding pensions).||Apply for member of a religious community disregard discount|
|Member of a visiting force||If you have a relevant association with a visiting Force, (within the meaning of the Visiting Forces Act 1952); a dependant of a member may also be disregarded.||Contact the taxation department|
|Member of international headquarters and defence organisations||If you are a member of international headquarters or a defence organisation; dependents of any such member are also disregarded.||Contact the taxation department|
|Non-British spouse of a student||If you are the spouse or civil partner or dependant of a full time student; not a British citizen and prevented by the terms of your visa from taking paid employment.||Apply for non-British spouse of a student disregard discount|
|Paid carer||Certain paid carers who look after an elderly person or a person with a disability for more than 24 hours/week and are not paid more than £44/week.||Apply for paid carer disregard discount|
|Person entitled to child benefit||If there is an occupier over 18 for whom child benefit is payable in respect of, that person can be disregarded.||Apply for person entitled to child benefit disregard discount|
|Persons in detention||If there is an occupier who is detained in prison or hospital by virtue of a court order they can be disregarded. Please use this form if applicable.||Apply for persons in detention disregard discount|
|Persons with diplomatic privilege or immunity||If you are a non-British citizen and have privileges and immunities under certain acts.||Contact the taxation department|
|Resident in care home, hospital or hostel to receive care||If your main residence is in a care home, hospital or hostel a disregard discount may apply. If your property has been left empty due to you now being resident in care home please see Exemptions Class E.||Apply for resident in care home, hospital or hostel to receive care disregard discount|
|Resident of hostel or night shelter||If you are resident in accommodation provided for the homeless.||Contact the taxation department|
|School leaver under 20||If a resident is under 20, and has ceased to undertake a qualifying course of education between 1 May & 31 October, they can be disregarded until 1 November of that year. Please fill in this form if applicable.||Apply for school leaver under 20 disregard discount|
|Severely mentally impaired resident|
If a resident is severely mentally impaired and in receipt of certain benefits a disregard discount may apply. If the property is only occupied by severely mentally impaired residents a Class U exemption may apply. You can apply for this reduction by using 'My council tax' account.
|Youth training trainee|
If you are under 25 and receiving training under the youth training scheme.
|Apply for youth training trainee disregard discount|
Your council tax bill may be reduced if you live in a property where changes have been made to help a resident child or adult who has a disability.
The council tax for the property will be charged at the rate of the band below it. For example if the property is a band C then the council tax payable will be at a band B rate.
The following criteria must apply for meeting the needs of a disabled resident:
- a wheelchair is used indoors;
- a second bathroom;
- a second kitchen;
- a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory, predominantly used by the disabled person;
A visit may be arranged to allow your application to be processed.
Your council tax bill may be reduced in certain circumstances for annexes whether occupied or unoccupied.
A discount of 50% applies to annexes which are:
- occupied by relatives - under the age of 65 - of the person liable to pay the council tax of the main property (if the occupier is over 65 then it is possible a Class W exemption may be applicable); or
- unoccupied as the person living in the main property is using the annexe as part of their main home
A relative is defined within the regulations as:
- nephew, or;
- niece (including older generations of each, e.g. great grandparent)
- relatives by marriage or civil partnership
- two people living together as if they were married or in a civil partnership will be treated as though the couple were married or in a civil partnership
- the stepchild of a person shall be treated as his/her child
If the relative is aged 65 or over, severally mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled the annexe may qualify for an exemption under Class W; please see Council tax exemptions.
How much is and how long will the discount last?
The discount is 50% of the charge payable for the annexe and is awarded for as long as conditions are met.
How do I apply for this discount?
You should complete the 50% annexe discount form. A visit will be arranged to verify your application and you may be asked to confirm the situation each year.
Unoccupied annexe with planning restriction
An unoccupied dwelling of the sort commonly referred to as granny annexes, but may also refer to other annexes, may be entitled to a full exemption from council tax. The property has to form part of premises which include another dwelling and where the unoccupied property may not be let separately from the main dwelling without a breach of planning control within the meaning of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If you wish to apply for a Class T exemption, please see Council tax exemptions.
An exemption applies to annexes which are:
- occupied by relatives - all over the age of 65 - of the person liable to pay the council tax of the main property (class W)
- occupied by relatives - aged between 18 and 65 - who are severely and permanently disabled (Class W)
- unoccupied annexe with planning restriction - an unoccupied dwelling of the sort commonly referred to as granny annexes, but may also refer to other annexes. The property has to form part of premises which include another dwelling and where the unoccupied property may not be let separately from the main dwelling without a breach of planning control within the meaning of s171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Class T) please see Council tax exemptions.
From 1 April 2015 an empty homes premium, in addition to the full council tax will be charged by the council when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more. Up until 31 March 2019 the premium will be 50% of the full council tax, and from 1 April 2019 the premium will be charged at 100% of the full council tax.
From 1 April 2020 an empty homes premium, in addition to the full council tax will be charged by the council when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 5 years or more. The premium will be charged at 200% of the full council tax.
From 1 April 2021 an empty homes premium, in addition to the full council tax will be charged by the council when a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 10 years or more. The premium will be charged at 300% of the full council tax.
However there are exemptions from the above premiums where:
- a property would be the sole/main residence of a person, but it is empty as that person resides in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence, because of their employment; or
- a property which is an annexe and this annexe is treated as part of the main property
If you wish to appeal against the amount of discount awarded, please see the appeals section on our council tax information and support page