Council Tax discounts

Changes to discounts with effect from 1 April 2017

Unoccupied, unfurnished and uninhabitable properties will no longer be eligible for any Council Tax discount from 1 April 2017.

The full amount of Council Tax for these properties will become payable from this date.

This decision was passed by the council on 11 July 2016 and there is no provision in the Council Tax legislation to appeal against this.

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in the property. You may be eligible to pay less Council Tax if:

  • the property is unoccupied
  • only one adult lives in the property
  • people who are disregarded from Council Tax liability are living in the property
  • people with disabilities have had alterations made to the property to meet their special needs
  • the property is an annex of another property, or 
  • you live on the property as a condition of employment

Unoccupied properties 

You can get a discount if your property is:

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished
  • Uninhabitable

Note: Even if there is a change in ownership, if the property had previously been awarded a similar discount, it will not be possible to award a further period of discount unless the property has been occupied for a minimum period of six weeks.

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

You may be able to get a 100% discount for a maximum period of six weeks if a property is unoccupied and unfurnished.  To apply complete, sign, and return by email or post the Unoccupied and Substantially Unfurnished Discount Form.

Uninhabitable properties

You may be able to get a 25% reduction for the maximum period of one year if an unoccupied/unfurnished property needs, or is undergoing, structural alteration or major repair from the date the property required the structural alteration or major repair. To apply complete, sign, and return by email or post the Major Repairs/Structural Alterations Discount Form.

Long-term empty premium

Properties that have been kept unfurnished and have not been occupied for more than 2 years will attract a premium rate of Council Tax of 150% based on the current band in which the property falls.

Sole or single adult occupancy

You can get 25% off your bill if you are the only adult living in your home. We require:

  • confirmation that you are the only person over the age of 18 in the property and that it is your only or main residence.
  • the date your occupancy started.

The quickest way to submit and process your application is through your Council Tax account. Or complete the Application for Single Occupancy Discount form.

People who are disregarded

You can get a discount if all the adults, except one, meet the criteria for any of the following disregarded statuses:

People with disabilities

If a room in your home is used to meet the special needs of a disabled resident, your Council Tax bill may be reduced by one band below that set by the Valuation Office Agency.

Alterations to your home can include:

  • The creation of extra space for a wheelchair to be used indoors.
  • The use of a room for dialysis equipment.
  • The addition of an extra bathroom or kitchen. 
To apply complete, sign, and return by email or post the People with Disabilities Discount Form.

Annexed properties 

You can get 50% off your bill for annexes that have a separate Council Tax charge and is occupied either by:

  • the residents of the main dwelling as part of their home, or
  • a relative of the person liable to pay Council Tax for the main property.

Job related second home discount 

You can get 50% off your bill for if you live in a property as a condition of your employment where it is specified as part of your employment contract. This discount may also apply to members of the Armed Forces.

The job related second home discount will apply to either:

  • the job related dwelling if it is the second home of you or your spouse/ civil partner i.e. not their main residence, or
  • to another dwelling if the job related dwelling is your main residence or your spouse/ civil partner and you have another dwelling that is therefore a second home

For a full list of criteria for annexed and tied accommodation discounts, contact us and let us know which discount you are applying for. Allow up to 14 working days for a response.

See also

Change of circumstances

Your entitlement may be affected if there is a change in circumstances. Let us know if you change your details so we can update your account.

Low income

In some cases we can help with rent and Council Tax payments for people on low incomes. View Housing Benefit page on GOV.UK and Council Tax Reduction for more information.