Council tax - exemptions and discounts

Council tax enquiries

If you are in receipt of any discounts, exemptions or reliefs and your circumstances change, you must tell us right away.  If you do not tell us, you could be fined up to £200.

Single person's discount

Council Tax bills are issued on the assumption that two adults are living in the property. If only one adult lives in the property, the council tax can be reduced by 25%.

 Discount  Apply online
 Download application form (Microsoft Word)
 Single persons over 18 years old 25% discount
 Apply online for single person discount
 Download application form for single person discount

If someone moves into your property, it may affect your Single Persons Discount - you can let us know by filling in the Single Person Discount - cancellation form.

Status discounts (for people not counted when calculating council tax)

Certain residents can be disregarded when working out the number of adults who live in a property and will mean your bill may be reduced.  Examples include students, student nurses, apprentices, long-term hospital patients and people who have a severe mental impairment.

DiscountApply onlineDownload application form (Microsoft Word)
Student Student discount - apply online Student discount - download application form
Student nurse Student nurse discount - apply online Student nurse discount - download application form
Training and apprentices discount Apprentice discount - apply online Apprentice discount - download application form
Careworker Careworker - apply online Careworker - download application form
Discount for severe mental impairment Not applicable Severely mentally impaired - download application form

Discounts for persons with disabilities

The Council Tax on a property in which a disabled person lives and in which there are special features or facilities required to meet the disabled person's needs is charged at the next lower valuation band.    Band A properties will receive a reduction of the same proportion of the bill.

DiscountApply onlineDownload application form (Microsoft Word)
Disabled persons band reduction Not applicable Disabled persons band reduction- download application form

Second home status and discounts for unoccupied homes

If the Second Home Status is for a period on or after 1 April 2017 then no discount will be available. A 10% Discount will only be applied to properties for periods before this date. After this date, you will still need to tell us the status of your second home using our forms to let us know if your property is occupied for more or less than 25 days per year. A second home is a property which is no one’s sole or main residence, but which is furnished and lived in for 25 days or more during the previous 12 months. If your property was not lived in for at least 25 days in the last 12 months, then it must be classified as an unoccupied property rather than as a second home.

A 10% council tax only discount is available for second homes without time limit, and for unoccupied properties for a limited period.  After a certain period, double council tax will apply.

DiscountApply onlineDownload application form (Microsoft Word)
Second home status Second home status - apply online Second home status - download application form
Unoccupied property - 10% discount Unoccupied property - apply online Unoccupied property - download application form

Find out more about time periods for discounts and exemptions for empty homes, and additional charges, in our long term empty homes section

An unoccupied and unfurnished property which is not being actively marketed for sale or let will be eligible for 6 months exemption from council tax from the date last occupied (or from date first entered onto the council tax register for a new build property), followed by 10% discount for 6 months, followed by double the full charge after 12 months.  If it is being actively marketed for sale or let, then the period of 10% discount is extended to 18 months before the double charge applies.

A 50% Discount is available for purpose built holiday homes incapable of habitation throughout the year and for job-related properties for an unlimited time period.  It is also available for properties under repair for 6 months from date of purchase if these properties are not eligible for exemption as more than 12 months has elapsed since the property was last occupied. These discounts do not apply to water charges.

Water charges reduction scheme

The Water Charges Reduction Scheme provides a reduction of up to 25% automatically to households in receipt of council tax reduction with 2 or more resident adults who are not already in receipt of status discounts.

Exemptions from council tax

There are a number of circumstances where a property may be exempt from Council Tax if all the relevant criteria are met. The criteria are explained on each application form.

Occupied properties may qualify to be exempt where:

  • all the occupants are students or under the age of 18
  • the property is owned by a housing body and is used as trial accommodation for sheltered housing tenants
  • all the occupants are severely mentally impaired

Unoccupied premises may qualify to be treated as exempt where the property:

  • is undergoing major repair work or structural alteration (available for up to12 months from the date the property was last occupied)
  • is unfurnished (up to six months)
  • is empty due to death of occupant   
  • is being held for use by a minister of religion
  • was last occupied by persons disregarded for Council Tax purposes (see above)
  • is repossessed or vested in trustee in bankruptcy
  • is hard to let because it is part of a larger property
  • was last used in connection with agriculture
ExemptionApply onlineDownload application form (Microsoft Word)
Empty home (unoccupied and unfurnished - exemption for 6 months maximum) Empty home - apply online Empty home - download application form
Homes under repair (unoccupied dwelling undergoing major repair work - exemption for 12 months maximum) Home under repair - apply online Home under repair - download application form
New home (unoccupied and unfurnished - exemption for 6 months maximum)
New home - apply online
New home - download application form
Occupant(s) under 18 (all residents must be under 18 for exemption)
Under 18 - apply online
Under 18 - download application form
Home occupied by students (where sole occupant or all occupants are students) Student exemption - apply online
Student exemption - download application form
Unoccupied home - students
Student (unoccupied) exemption - apply online
Student (unoccupied) exemption - download application form
Repossessed home (unoccupied and subject to repossession) Repossessed home - apply online Repossessed home - download application form
Agricultural home (unoccupied, last used for agriculture)
Agricultural home - apply online
Agricultural home - download application form
Home of person made bankrupt (unoccupied home) Person made bankrupt - apply online Person made bankrupt - download application form
Visiting forces (occupied or unoccupied) Visiting forces - apply online Visiting forces - download application form
Charitable bodies (unoccupied home last used for charitable purposes) Charitable bodies - apply online
Charitable bodies- download application form
Home last occupied by someone now receiving or providing care  Receiving care / carer - apply online Receiving care / carer - download application form
Estate of a deceased person (unoccupied home following the death of its single resident) Estate of deceased person - apply online Estate of deceased person- download application form
Home for occupation by minister (unoccupied home normally occupied by a minister of religion) Minister's home - apply online Minister's home - download application form
Property occupied by severely mentally impaired person
Not applicable Severely mentally impaired - download application form

Council Tax Reviews for 2016/17

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to ensure that they collect all the Council Tax which is due and that any relief granted, such as a Discount or Exemption which are only awarded where there is valid entitlement.

For the current year the reviews that will be undertaken are as follows;

  • Single Persons Discount – July/August/Sept 2016.
  • 2nd Home Discount Review May 2016
  • Class 6A Deceased Exemption – this is an ongoing review process due to the nature of the exemption.
  • Class 10A Occupied by Students Exemption - this is an ongoing review process due to the nature of the exemption.
  • Class 14A Agricultural Dwellings - completed by December 2016.