Council Tax discounts

Find out about and apply for council tax discounts such as reduced payments for those with a disability, single people, pensioners, students, homes that are derelict or have a family annexe.

You will usually have to pay council tax if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home. You may be eligible to get money off your council tax bill if you satisfy certain criteria.

If you have been granted any of the discounts below that you believe you are not entitled to, you must tell us within 21 days otherwise a penalty of £70 may be charged.

Discounts available

Single occupancy discount

Sometimes called single person discount. We will base a full council tax bill on a home that two or more adults (over the age of 18 years) live in. If there is only one adult living in the property, a 25% discount for sole occupancy may be granted. 

To qualify for the 25% discount, you must be over 18 and living in the property as your sole or main residence. No other person who is over 18 must be living in the property with you as their sole or main residence.

People who are temporarily absent from your address with an intention to return, such as those on holiday or working away, are still classified as occupiers for council tax purposes.

You cannot claim single occupancy discount at any second, or further, property owned in addition to a main residence. 

We undertake checks to make sure our council tax records are up to date and carry out regular single occupancy discount reviews to make sure that discounts are being applied correctly.

How to apply

Apply for single occupancy discount

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties, second home and family annexes

Unoccupied homes

In most circumstances you must pay full council tax even when a property is unoccupied. 

Long term empty premium

Any property that is substantially empty and unfurnished for two years or more will attract an additional 100% premium on the council tax charge. 

From 1 April 2020, any property substantially empty and unfurnished for five years or more attracts an empty property premium of 200%.

From 1 April 2021, any property substantially empty and unfurnished for ten years or more attracts an empty property premium of 300%.

Under the regulations there are two classes of properties which are exempt from the premium:

  • a home which would otherwise be the sole or main residence of a member of the armed services, who is absent from the property as a result of such service
  • a home which forms part of a single property that is being treated by a resident of that property as part of the main dwelling

Derelict properties

Homes which are empty and in a poor state of repair remain subject to a 100% council tax charge so long as they remain assessed in the domestic banding list by the Valuation Office Agency.

The Valuation Office Agency has published guidance in respect of properties which are in disrepair or are derelict on the government website.

You can challenge your council tax band on the government website in circumstances where the above guidance outlines that the Valuation Office Agency can consider making changes to the banding list.

Second homes

Under certain circumstances a second home will be entitled to a 50% discount. This is where the council tax payer is unable to live in their second home due to a specified condition in their contract of employment which stipulates that they must reside in another property. 

Examples of such circumstances include:

  • a publican who is required to live above their licensed premises
  • a residential school caretaker
  • a practicing reverend living within their diocese 
  • a member of the forces who has to live in armed forces accommodation

To qualify, both properties must be furnished and situated within England, Wales or Scotland and the applicant must be responsible for the council tax payment on each dwelling (Ministry of Defence accommodation and properties provided to a minister of religion for the performance of their duties are included in this payment definition). 

Family annexes

A 50% council tax reduction, on top of any other discount, applies if the annexe:

  • forms part of a single property which includes at least one other home
  • is being used by a resident of that other home or is the sole or main residence of a relative of the person who is liable to pay council tax for that other dwelling

How to apply

Apply for unoccupied and unfurnished exemption or a derelict property, second home or family annex discount
 

Council tax disregard

If you have received a full bill, it is assumed that there are at least two adults living in your property as their main home. If there is only one person, the bill can be reduced by 25%. Some people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident, including:

  • full time students, student nurses, Youth Training Scheme trainees and apprentices
  • patients or residents in hospital
  • people being looked after in care homes
  • severely mentally impaired people
  • people for whom someone is receiving child benefit
  • low paid care workers
  • people who care for a disabled person who is not their spouse, partner or child
  • members of visiting forces
  • members of religious communities
  • people in prison
  • people staying in hostels or night shelters
  • residents under the Homes for Ukraine scheme

How to apply

Apply for council tax disregard

Band reduction for disabilities

If a disabled person resides in a property and there are facilities essential to meet their needs, then you may qualify for a reduction that reduces your council tax by one band. If your property is in the lowest band, we may still be able to reduce your bill. 

The facilities in question must have a causative link to the disability and include:

  • an additional bathroom or kitchen
  • any other room, which is not primarily a bedroom, predominantly used by the disabled person to meet the needs of their disability
  • sufficient floor space to permit the use of a wheelchair indoors

How to apply

The property may be inspected by a council officer before a decision is made.  

Apply for a disability band reduction

Pensioner age claims

Pensioners can receive up to 100% off their council tax bill using our council tax reduction scheme.

How to apply

Find out more and apply on our council tax reduction scheme page.

Second adult rebate

Second adult rebate is a type of council tax support available to you if you are of state pension credit qualifying age. 

You cannot get both council tax support and second adult rebate at the same time. If you qualify for both, you will receive the one that pays you the most. 

If you live alone in a property, you are entitled to a 25% single person discount off your council tax bill. If another adult lives with you, and they have a low income, you might be eligible for second adult rebate. 

To claim second adult rebate, there must be another adult living with you who:

  • is 18 or over
  • is not your husband, wife, partner or civil partner
  • does not have joint responsibility with you for paying council tax
  • does not have to pay you rent
  • is not a joint owner or joint tenant on the property with you
  • is not a licensee of the property
  • has income below a certain amount or who gets certain benefits 
  • is not someone who is ignored when the local authority works out who lives with you, for example, someone who is currently in prison or who is severely mentally impaired

How second adult rebate is calculated

To decide if you are eligible for second adult rebate, we only look at the gross income of the second adult before deductions for tax or national insurance. Your income and savings are not included when we work this out.

The amount of the second adult rebate

This will depend on the income of the second adult. The most that you can get is 25% off your full council tax bill. 

How to apply

Apply for second adult rebate

Report a change of circumstances

If you are receiving a reduction in the level of council tax you are liable to pay and your circumstances change which affect the level of award, then you must inform us within 21 days. Failure to notify us within this time may result in a £70 penalty being imposed.

Report a change of circumstances