Council Tax

Council Tax Discounts

Single person discounts

If you are the only adult over the age of 18 living in the property you may be entitled to a 25% discount known as a single person or single occupancy discount.  We can normally apply these discounts over the phone or by email

Alternatively you can download and email an application form to us.

Students  – including student nurses

If you or someone living in your property is a full time student, you may be entitled to a discount.  This will not apply if there are two or more other adults living in the property who are not students.

If the all the adults living in the property are student, the Council Tax bill may be reduced to nil.

Students who qualify include:

1. Students on a full-time course of education at a prescribed educational establishment i.e. attending a university or college course, which:

  • lasts at least one academic year (or a calendar year if the college does not have academic years);
  • takes at least 24 weeks a year, some of which could be spent abroad or in work experience, as long as it is part of the course and the total period of work experience does not exceed the total periods of normal study;
  • involves at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time (which does not have to be all taught – some could be spent in private study); or

2. Aged under 20 and on a qualifying course, which

  • lasts more than 3 months;
  • involves at least 12 hours per week of study;
  • leads to any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard (i.e. further education);

or

3. A Foreign Language Assistant registered with the Central Bureau of Educational Visits and Exchanges.

Please complete a student discount form if you think this discount may apply.  We require proof of your studies from your college or university – please contact your school’s administration team for a Council Tax exemption certificate.

Empty properties

If your property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, we will normally apply a 50% discount for up to 6 months.  There are qualifying criteria for this discount and the quickest way to find out if you qualify is to contact us. This discount can be applied over the phone or by email.

This discount will not normally be applied if the property has already had this discount recently.  If you have just taken over or bought an empty property which has had the discount applied up to you buying it or has been continually empty up to you buying it, we may not be able to apply the discount.

The Council’s Council Tax Empty Property Liability Policy can be downloaded and viewed here.

If your tenant has vacated a property and it is empty between tenants, the discount will normally apply – this depends on the length of the outgoing tenancy being at least 42 days.  Please contact us if you have any questions or think you should have a discount applied to your property.

Properties empty for more than six months

After six months, the 50% discount will expire (regardless of the property changing ownership) and 100% of the Council Tax will become payable.

Properties empty for more than two years.

If a property remains empty, after two years, an empty premium is added  – this makes 200% of the Council Tax bill payable.  This premium applies to all properties which have been continually empty for more than two years, regardless of a change of ownership.  If you have bought a property which has been empty for this amount of time, your bill may be 200%.

The premium may be removed if the property is actively being marketed for sale or rent.

Please contact us to discuss your bill if you have any questions.

If the property is being marketed for sale or rent we may be able to remove the premium from the account. Please complete the Premium reduction application form.

Properties undergoing renovations

Depending on the work being carried out, you may be entitled to a 50% discount for up to 12 months.  Properties awarded this discount are under major renovation and cannot be lived in.  Renovations of this type include major foundation work, moving walls, no running water or electricity or properties which are not weather proof.  Updating or decorating a property will not normally be included.

There are qualifying criteria for this discount and the quickest way to find out if you qualify is to contact us. This discount can be applied over the phone or by email.

Alternatively please download and email an application form to us.

Disability reduction scheme

If you have renovated or changed your property to accommodate the needs of a disabled person, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax.

Qualifying changes include:

  • a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet, which is needed by the disabled person;
  • a second kitchen or second bathroom especially for the disabled person;
  • extra space within the property to enable a wheelchair to be used indoors.

If you qualify for this reduction, your Council Tax will be reduced by one band.

If you are in a band A property and a disability reduction is awarded, you are entitled to a reduction in your council tax equivalent to one band below the band A rate (i.e. 5/9ths of band D instead of the normal rate of 6/9ths of band D)

If you think you may be entitled to this reduction, please download the Disabilities Relief application form or contact us.

Other discount application forms

Apprentices

Care Workers

Resident Carers. If you have left a property empty because you have moved to provide care for someone, please contact us.

Nursing home residents including hospital residents. If someone has left the property because they have gone to receive permanent care elsewhere i.e. with a relative, please contact us.

Prisoners

Severely mentally impaired

Youth trainees

Other discounts

Finally, there are a few other discount categories or disregarded persons which we will either ­apply automatically based on information we receive or for which you will need to contact us.  Please contact us if you think any of these may apply.

These include:

  • People who you are still receiving child benefit for.  This are people over the age of 18 but for whom child benefit still applies.
  • Spouse or dependent of a foreign student (overseas students who are prevented from working or claiming any benefits)
  • Residents of hostels
  • Members and dependents of visiting armed forces
  • Members of international HQ and defence organisations
  • Members of religious communities
  • A property owned or last used by a charity
  • A property left empty as a result of a death
  • A property which is empty because occupation is forbidden by law i.e. as a result of a compulsory purchase order or demolition order
  • A property awaiting occupation by a Minister of Religion
  • A repossessed property
  • Armed forces accommodation owned by the Ministry of Defe­nce
  • A property left empty by a person who is bankrupt
  • Empty caravan pitches or boat moorings
  • A property occupied solely by people under the age of 18
  • Empty annexes (granny flats)
  • A property occupied by a foreign diplomat who is not permanently resident in the UK
  • An occupied annex (i.e. granny flats) which is occupied by a dependent of the main part of the house.