There are four different ways in which you may get a reduction
in your Council Tax bill. These are Discounts, Exemptions, Disabled
Relief and Local Council Tax Discount.
Sole occupier discount
A full Council Tax
bill assumes that there are at least two qualifying adults resident
in the household. Where only one adult lives in a dwelling (as
their main home) the Council Tax is reduced by 25%, this is known
as sole occupier discount.
Unoccupied and unfurnished property
the new arrangements effective from 1 April 2013, there will be no
period of exemption, and the empty property charge could become
payable from the first day the property becomes vacant- at the full
council tax charge. However the Government has given local
authorities discretion to award discounts on empty properties, the
cost of which is borne locally. The Council has introduced two
months full discount where the property is empty and unfurnished,
followed by a 100% charge for empty properties.
Owners of vacant and unfurnished properties will therefore have
nothing to pay for the first two months they are vacant. After this
time, they will be charged at the full council tax level.
Properties that require major repairs will be charged at a 50%
council tax level from the date they became vacant or works
Second homes and unoccupied furnished
From 1 April 2013, if a property is not
anyone's main home, the owner will be charged the full council tax.
This will apply to unoccupied properties (which are substantially
furnished) and second homes (furnished properties that are not used
as main residences). Certain second homes would continue to
have their bills reduced by 50%, in the following situation:
The council tax payer is required to live elsewhere in job
related accommodation because of the terms and conditions of their
employment, for example a caretaker, minister of religion, or a
member of the armed forces. This does not apply to a second home
that you are renting because living there is convenient for
Long term unoccupied and unfurnished
From 1 April, properties which have been
vacant in excess of two years will be subject to an additional
charge of 50% on top of the full council tax normally charged.
Certain people will be
disregarded when calculating the number of adults resident in a
dwelling and therefore it is possible for a discount to apply in
some cases where there are two or more adults resident. Adults who
are disregarded for discount purposes are as follows:-
- Full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth
- Patients resident in hospital
- Patients in homes e.g. care home, hostel, independent
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left
- Resident care workers working for low pay, usually for
- People caring for someone with a disability who is not a
spouse, partner, or child under 18
- Members of visiting forces and certain international
- Members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
- People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of
Council Tax or a fine)
- Foreign diplomats and their non-British spouses.
- Spouses of students where the spouse is not a U.K. citizen and
is thereby prevented from seeking employment or claiming
If a discount has already been awarded by the Council it will be
shown on your bill in one of the following ways:
50% - it has been assumed that there are no
adult residents counted for Council Tax purposes.
25% - it has been assumed that there is only
one adult resident in the household who is counted for Council Tax
Applications for discount must be made in
writing. If there is no discount showing on your bill, and you
think that you could qualify for a discount, Please contact
the Council Tax Team for further advice and information.
The telephone number is on your bill or e-mail email@example.com
This information is a brief guide to Council Tax Discounts. It
does not contain the complete legal requirements for each type of
If you have been awarded a discount you must notify the
Council Tax Team, within 21 days, of any change in your
circumstances which may affect your entitlement. Failure to do so
may result in a penalty of up to £280.
These are the classes of
dwellings that are exempt from Council Tax.
B. A dwelling that has been unoccupied for up to 6 months and is
owned by a charity.
D. An unoccupied dwelling left empty by a person who has gone to
E. An unoccupied dwelling left empty by a person who is now
resident in a hospital or nursing home.
F. An unoccupied dwelling forming part of the estate of a deceased
person and the personal representative is waiting for grant of
probate or letters of administration or less than 6 months have
elapsed since such a grant was made.
G. A dwelling where the occupation is prohibited by law.
H. An unoccupied dwelling held for a minister of religion as a
residence from which to perform his duties.
I. An unoccupied dwelling where a person has moved to receive
J. An unoccupied dwelling where a person has moved to provide
personal care to another person.
K. A dwelling which has been left unoccupied by students.
L. An unoccupied dwelling which has been repossessed by a
M. A hall of residence provided predominantly for students.
N. A dwelling either wholly occupied by students, school or college
leavers or by certain spouses or dependants of students as term
O. UK armed forces barracks, married quarters and accommodation for
P. Visiting forces accommodation.
Q. An unoccupied dwelling which is the responsibility of a
R. An unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring.
S. A dwelling occupied only by a person or persons aged under
T. An unoccupied dwelling that forms part of, or is situated within
the curtilage of another dwelling and is difficult to let
separately without a breach of planning control within the meaning
of the Town and County Planning Act 1990(d).
U. A dwelling only occupied by a severely mentally impaired person
V. A dwelling where at least one liable person is entitled to
diplomatic privileges or immunities.
W. "Granny Annexes".
The Local Government Finance Act 2012 has give councils new
discretionary powers to raise additional income by allowing them to
increase the level of council tax charged in relation to certain
types of empty dwellings. As a result of this the following
exemptions have been replaced with discounts effective from 1 April
A. Uninhabitable or properties undergoing major repair. From 1
April 2013 this has been superceded by a local discount which,
subject to the conditions of this exemption, reduces the charge by
50% for up to twelve months.
C. Empty and unfurnished properties. There is now a 100%
discount for up to two months after which a full charge will be
If you think that your property falls into one of the
above categories and should be exempt, please contact
the Council Tax Team for an application
This information is a brief guide to Council Tax
Exemptions. It does not contain the complete legal requirements for
each type of exemption.
If you need help in bringing your empty property back into use
please contact the Landlord Liaison and Empty Homes Officer on
01827 709345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with disabilities
If you, or someone who lives with you (adult or child), need
extra space in the property for the use of a wheelchair, or have an
additional bathroom, kitchen or other room to meet special needs
arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a Disabled
Person's Relief. For properties in band B to H, the relief is given
by calculating your Council Tax bill on the Valuation Band lower
than the one allocated to your property. The reduction for a band A
property will be calculated in line with the other bands (1/9 th of
band D). This reduction ensures that disabled people do not pay
more tax on account of space needed because of a disability.
If you think you may be entitled to a reduction you should
contact the Council Tax Team for more information and an
The value of a property, which is the home of a disabled person,
may have been reduced because special fixtures have been added for
that person's use. If you think this situation applies to your
property and the Valuation Band assigned to your property does not
reflect that factor, you should contact the Valuation