Apply for a Council Tax discount
A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in the property. You may be eligible for a discount if your property:
- Has sole or single adult occupancy
- Has had alterations made to meet the special needs of a person with disabilities
- Is an annex of another property
- Is part of a condition of employment
For a full list of property exemptions check our exemptions page.
- 18 or 19 year old school leaver
- Aged 18 but still at school attracting child benefit
- Care homes and nursing home resident
- Foreign language assistant
- Full time student
- Hospital patient
- A member of international headquarters and defence organisation
- A member (and dependants) of visiting forces
- Person who are severely mentally impaired
- Person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
- Person in prison
- Resident of certain types of hostel
- Student nurse
- Student undertaking qualifying course
- Youth trainee
To apply for a discount, either:
- Use the relevant form link to apply online.
- Log into your account for a list of criteria and to apply.
Long term empty properties are now subject to a premium Council Tax rate.
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.
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.
For a full list of criteria for annexed discounts, contact us and let us know which discount you are applying for. Allow up to 14 working days for a response.
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 tied accommodation discounts, contact us and let us know which discount you are applying for. Allow up to 14 working days for a response.
You are liable to pay Council Tax if you are in hospital for a short time and have a home elsewhere.
You are disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax if you are a patient in a hospital, which is your only main home.
You are disregarded if you are living and receiving care in one of the following places as long as it is your only main home.
- Residential care home
- Nursing home
- Mental nursing home
- Hostels providing a high level of care
You are disregarded if you live with and care for someone with a disability who is receiving one of certain allowances, or a disablement pension.
You must be:
- Providing care for 35 hours per week on average, or
- Somebody who cares for an elderly person or a person with a disability in return for a payment of up to £44 per week can also receive a discount.
Who cannot receive discount
You cannot receive the discount if you are caring for:
- A husband or wife, or living as a husband or wife, or
- A child under 18 years
People who are severely mentally impaired are disregarded for Council Tax.
For Council Tax purposes, a person is regarded as being severely mentally impaired if they suffer, for whatever reason, from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent.
In order to receive the discount:
- We must receive a certificate from their doctor confirming their impairment, and
- The individual must be entitled to one of a number of qualifying benefits.
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.
You are regarded as a full time student for Council Tax purposes if:
- You are undertaking a university or college course which lasts for at least one academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year, and involves at least 21 hours allocated study time per week during term time.
- You are under the age of 20 years and studying for more than three months, for at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to 'A' level, ONC or OND standard.
- Student Nurses studying academic courses at universities or who are on Project 2000 courses are classed as students for Council Tax purposes.
The period of the student's course runs from the day the course begins until it is completed (the end of the exams) or the student leaves the course uncompleted.
A young person under 20 who leaves a qualifying course after 30 April in any year is disregarded from Council Tax up to 31 October in the same year.
The term 'student' also covers young people under the age of 20 who are not on a full-time course of education but are undertaking a qualifying course of education.
A 'qualifying course' must require at least 12 hours per week to be spent on the relevant activities of the course. It must last for at least 3 calendar months and is not a course of higher education.
The following do not qualify:
- Evening classes
- Correspondence courses
- Job-related training
Student nurses in full time education are disregarded for Council Tax. They are treated as full time students.
A student nurse not on a full-time course at college or university, but are following a course leading to an appropriate registration under the Nurses Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979, are disregarded for Council Tax.
Registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges, as a foreign language assistant, and is appointed as a foreign language assistant at a school or other educational institute in Great Britain.
In order to qualify to be disregarded from Council Tax as an apprentice, you must meet the following criteria:
- Vocational or job 'trade' experience
- Leading to a qualification accredited by the national Council for Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)
- Must not earn over £195 per week.
In order to qualify to be disregarded from Council Tax as a Youth trainee, you must meet the following criteria:
- Under 25 years old
- Undertaking training:
- Made through arrangements made under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973(a)
- Funded by the Learning and Skills Council for England.
You are disregarded if you are or someone in your household is:
- A member of a qualifying visiting force, or of that force’s civilian component
- A dependent of a member, as long as the dependent is not a British Citizen or normally lives in the UK.
If the property is occupied only by members of visiting forces or their dependents, there may be no Council Tax to pay.
You are disregarded if you or someone in your household is a diplomat. To be counted as a diplomat for Council Tax purposes, you must:
- Be a diplomat or a dependant of a diplomat, or
- Have diplomatic privileges and immunities, and
- Not be British.
If all the people liable for Council Tax fall into this category the property is exempt, even if there are other residents who are not diplomats.
You are disregarded if you or someone in your household is designated under the International Headquarters and Defence Organisations Act, or a dependent of them, lives in your home.
You are disregarded if you or somebody in your household receives child benefit for someone in your household over the age of 18.
You will need proof of child benefit such as a copy of the payment book or letter from HM Revenues and Customs Child Benefits Office.
You are disregarded if somebody in your household has recently left school or college.
We do not count school or college leavers for Council Tax purposes for the time between the end of their course and and the 1 November in the same year, as long as they are:
- Under 20 years old, and have finished a qualifying course of education between 30 April and 1 November.
If they reach 20 before 1 November the discount will stop.
If everyone in your home is a recent school or college leaver, you may not need to pay anything. In this case, please apply for a student exemption.
You are disregarded if you or someone in your household are:
- A member of a religious community whose main occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering; and
- Has no income or capital of their own and is dependent upon the community for their material needs (pensions from previous employment are allowed.)
You are disregarded if you or someone in your household lives in a hostel as their main home.
A hostel is a home which is mainly:
- Providing residential accommodation as a hostel or night shelter, and
- Not in separate and self-contained sets of premises, and
- Provided for the homeless, and
- Provided under licence to occupy which is not a tenancy.
We may need to visit the hostel to get more information.
You are disregarded if someone in your household is in detention. We do not count people for Council Tax purposes if they are:
- In prison, hospital or elsewhere by order of a Court, or
- Under the Mental Health Act 1983, or
- Under the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957, or
- Awaiting deportation under the Immigration Act 1971.
You must tell us when the person is released as this may affect the discount. We do count people for Council Tax purposes if they are:
- In custody for not paying fines or for not paying Council Tax, or
- In police custody before their first appearance in court.
From 1 April 2019, properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years will be charged an additional premium of 100% Council Tax.
From 1 April 2020, this premium will increase to 200% for properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than five years.
From 1 April 2021, this premium increased to 300% for properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than ten years.
This is regardless of any change of ownership during that period.
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