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Reductions and discounts

There are a number of Council Tax reductions and discounts available and each application is assessed on its own merits.


If you think you or someone you know might qualify for one of these, please contact us (on 0345 045 0064) for more information and an application.

You will need to continue to pay your council tax as per your instalments, until a discount or exemption is granted.

Common Reductions to Apply For:

1.Single Person Discount

If you are the only adult living in a property that is classified as your main home then you may qualify for a 25% discount.

For more information see our Single Person Discount (SPD) page.

2. Structural Alterations

When a property is unoccupied, unfurnished and undergoing major structural alterations, you may be eligible for a 100% discount for up to 12 months.

Please see our Structural Alterations page for more information.

3. Work Related Properties

If you are required to live in a different property because it is a condition of your job, you may get a 50% discount. This includes members of HM Services and members of the Clergy. We will take various factors into account in order to determine main residence in each individual case.

If you think that this applies to you, please download and complete this application form and return it to us.

4. Unoccupied properties where the liable person has died

When the liable person of a property dies leaving that property unoccupied, the property can be exempt from Council Tax up until 6 months after probate has been granted or letters of administration have been made.
Once the 6-month limit has expired, the full charge will be due.

  • Where the responsibility for the property passes to another party prior to probate being granted, that party will become liable for the Council Tax charge. This might be if the property is sold, or someone else comes to live in the property.
  • In the situation where the property was owned jointly, the liability will pass to the surviving owner and a full charge will be due from the date of death.

Please notify us that someone has passed away. You can give us notification that someone has passed away online. 

5. Properties owned by charities

Where a property is unoccupied, owned by a charity and used for a charitable purpose – it can be exempt from Council Tax for up to 6 months from the date the property was last occupied.

Other Types of Reductions


The full council tax bill assumes that there are two adults (aged 18 or over) with their main residence in the property.

It is possible to have your council tax bill reduced for a number of reasons:

  • Council Tax Support is a reduction in relation to the circumstances of the occupants. If you are on a low income, even if you are working, you might be eligible for this benefit - you can apply online for Council Tax Support.
  • Occupants can be disregarded if they qualify, and if they bring the total number of adults not disregarded to below 2, the bill might be reduced by 25% or 50%.
  • Properties themselves can be given exemptions from council tax, which cover 100% of the charge.
  • There are also discounts available, which include Single Person Discount (25%), discount if a property is undergoing structural alteration/major repairs (100%), annexe discount (50%) and a discount if a property is occupied in relation to employment (50%).

Council Tax changes from the 1 April 2013

Council Tax legislation has been changed by Central Government. Local Councils now have the option to set the level of discount on certain types of property.

This Council carried out a consultation with local residents and property owners in order to decide which exemptions and discounts to change and met on the 31 January 2013 to confirm their decision.

The consultation started on the 1 August 2012. There was a press release on the 31 July 2012 explaining that South Cambridgeshire District Council would be commencing its consultation on how it would manage the Central Government cut to its funding and that this would start on the 1 August 2012.

The press release outlined areas that might be looked at with regard to council tax discounts and exemptions. The Council also wrote to everyone who was in receipt of any of the discounts or exemptions that could be affected. In addition there were public surgeries around the district between the 3 September and the 29 September 2012. There was information on the Council’s website and an on-line survey on the website both of which were publicised.

The changes that the Council has decided to implement from the 1 April 2013, are as follows:

Class C – Unoccupied and Unfurnished

Class C under the Council Tax legislation is a dwelling which is both unoccupied and unfurnished. Since the introduction of the Council Tax system in 1993 a dwelling meeting these criteria has been entitled to a maximum six month exemption period from the date it became both unoccupied and unfurnished.

From the 1 April 2013 there will be no 6 month exemption period and the full charge will be due from the date that the property is both unoccupied and unfurnished.

Class B – Unoccupied and owned by a Charity

If, however, the dwelling is owned by a charity the legislation still allows a six month void period under Class B in the legislation followed by the full charge if the dwelling is not reoccupied by the end of that period.
Where this class applies the property may be furnished or unfurnished.
The charity concerned must be established for charitable purposes only and the dwelling must, when last occupied, have been occupied in furtherance of the objects of the charity.


50% Council Tax premium on Long Term Empty Homes

Councils also have the option to raise a premium of 50% on any dwelling that has been both empty and unfurnished for a period of 24 months or more.
This Council has taken the decision to set such a premium. This means that Council Tax will be due at 150% of the full rate for any dwelling that has already been empty for 24 months or more at that date.

Periods where the dwelling was undergoing major repair work or structural alteration for which Class A exemption of 12 months was given, are included in the 24 month period.

If you believe that your property would qualify for exemption because it is structurally unsound or is undergoing currently major repair work, please put a request in writing to the Council detailing the work being carried out.

An Annexe is exempt from the 50% premium if it is deemed unoccupied because it is being used by the occupier of the main dwelling as part of that dwelling.

No premium will apply to dwellings which would otherwise be the sole or main residence of a person but is empty and unfurnished because that person resides in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence due to their employment.


Furnished Properties and Second Homes

The Council has also taken the decision to withdraw the 10% discount in respect of furnished second homes with effect from the 1 April 2013 and the charge will therefore be at the full rate from that date.

The Council also considered withdrawing the 12 month exemption on dwellings undergoing major repair work or structural alteration. The decision was to retain this exemption for the coming financial year.

If you have any questions regarding the decisions that have been made you need to direct them to your district councillor details of who can be found on this website. Use our website to Search for your District Councillor.

Any queries regarding the criteria in respect of discounts or exemptions should be directed to

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