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Council Tax Discounts

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are 2 adults (aged 18 and over) living in your home.

Certain adults can be disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax, and you might be able to get a discount or a full exemption depending on the situation.

There are other discounts and exemptions which relate to empty properties or how a property is used, please see below to see if they might apply to you.

To make an application for a discount:

We aim to apply the discount within 28 days of receiving your request, but this may vary depending on our volume of work.

Please continue to pay your Council Tax, as per your instalments, until a discount or exemption is granted.

If you are the only adult living in your home as your sole or main residence, you can get a discount of 25%.

Please complete our online form to request a discount, or to cancel it if you are no longer the sole adult resident at a property.

Applications for discounts will be verified and subject to periodic review.

Apply for a single person discount


Determining your main residence

For most people it is easy to determine their main residence as there is only one property which meets the following criteria:

  • you own or rent the property
  • you sleep there
  • you are registered to vote there
  • it's your family address (your partner and children live there)
  • you keep your belongings there
    if you weren't working or travelling away, that's where you would return to

However if you have an interest in more than one property we will need to decide which address we consider to be your main residence for Council Tax (for example, if you stay away from home during the week or longer for work purposes, then we generally consider the property you return to, to be your main residence).

If you have a partner or spouse living elsewhere

Usually, for Council Tax discounts, a couple is considered to be living together. We might decide that one property is the main residence for both people, even if one person stays elsewhere at times, or they own or rent more than one property.


  • if one person works away from home during the week
  • if one person works abroad, but returns during non-working periods
  • if one person is serving in the armed forces but returns to the property during leave (you might be entitled to a military rebate in this case and should contact the relevant military personnel.

In all the cases mentioned above, you would have to pay the full rate of Council Tax.

Severe mental impairment

People who are diagnosed with an impairment of intelligence and social functioning, however caused, which appears to be permanent.

  • a person must be confirmed as eligible by a registered medical practitioner (they will need to sign our application form) and they must be getting certain benefits - these include Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Daily Living Component of PIP, the care component of Disability Living Allowance and the Limited Capability for Work element of Universal Credit)
  • if everyone living at the property is diagnosed as having a severe mental impairment - then the property might be exempt from Council Tax.

Disabled Band Reduction

This is a scheme which aims to ensure that people who are disabled do not pay more because they live in a larger property because of their disabilities.

The property must be the main residence of at least one person who is disabled, and it must have at least one of the following features which is of major importance to that person’s wellbeing:

  • a room mainly used by and needed by a person who is disabled to meet their needs (but not a single bathroom, kitchen or toilet)
  • an extra bathroom or kitchen for use by a person who is disabled.
  • extra space inside the home so they can use a wheelchair.

The discount available is equal to paying one band lower. For example, a band E property would be charged as if it were in band D. If your property is already in the lowest band (band A), your bill will be reduced by one-ninth of the band D charge.

Carers and people receiving care at home can be eligible for a reduction if:

You live with someone who gets certain benefits (like PIP living, DLA care middle or highest rate or Attendance Allowance) and you take care of them for at least 35 hours every week on average – providing you aren’t their partner/spouse or their parent if they are aged under 18.

Or your home has a second property within the grounds (for example an annexe) which has a dependent relative living in it (dependent relatives are those aged 65 or over, severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled).

Moving home to provide or receive care

If you leave your home empty to go live somewhere else to receive care (for example  a care home or another person’s home) let us know by notifying us of change of address to provide or receive care.

Or if you leave your home empty to go to live somewhere else to provide another person with care.

People in detention

If you or someone else you live with has been detained in prison, hospital or other place of detention, let us know by reporting a detention.

Exemptions for charities

If a property is unoccupied, owned by a charity and which was last used for a charitable purpose – this exemption can last for a maximum of 6 months.

A property may be exempt from Council Tax if all the people living there are classed as students.

However, if there's only one adult who's not classed as a student, they can get a discount of 25% on their Council Tax bill.

Students are classed as:

  • full time students (studying at certain educational establishments, for at least one academic year, for at least 21 hours per week for at least 24 weeks of the year).
  • students aged under 20 in non-advanced education (no higher than A levels)
  • school/college leavers aged under 20 years old who leave after 1 May (disregarded between 1 May and 31 October in the year they leave)
  • registered foreign language assistants
  • non-British spouse or dependent of a student (who is prevented by immigration regulations from taking paid employment or claiming benefits in the UK)

Apprentices are also not counted for Council Tax, if they are employed for learning a trade or profession, undertaking a training programme, and who receives a salary or allowance of no more than £195 per week.

Other properties which might be exempt:

  • student halls of residence
  • a property where everyone is younger than 18
  • if a house is (unoccupied) and the owner is a student.

Structural Alterations and Major Repair Works

When a property is undergoing or in need of major repair works to make it habitable, or is undergoing structural alterations, you can apply for a 100% discount for up to 12 months.

This discount does not apply to the following:

  • minor changes such as adding a porch
  • plumbing or heating
  • replacement or repair of bathroom/kitchen or any other fixtures/fittings
  • rewiring
  • timber or damp proof treatment
  • re-plastering of walls/ceilings
  • drainage
  • repairs or renewals of services
  • maintenance such as re-pointing or window/door replacement
  • redecoration

If you are living within the grounds of the property whilst work is carried out (for example, in a caravan or mobile home) you may not qualify for this discount.

Where a property becomes classed as a long-term empty home, this discount can no longer be awarded and any existing discount will end. To find out more please read our Charges for empty properties page.

Empty properties following the death of a resident

Please use the Government 'Tell Us Once' service to report the death.

When the owner or tenant of a property passes away and the property is unoccupied, it may be exempt from Council Tax.

This exemption can last until 6 months after probate has been granted or letters of administration have been made.

Once the exemption ends, Council Tax will be charged again. See our page on charges for empty properties in case the property is now classed as a long-term empty property.

Please note:

  • if a property continues to be occupied by a tenant or other resident on the date of the owner’s death, then that property may not be eligible for exemption once the residents move out of the property.
  • if someone else moves in or becomes the owner, the exemption stops, and the new resident/owner will become liable for paying the Council Tax.
  • if the property is owned by more than one person, any surviving owners will be liable to pay the Council Tax.

Other exemptions available for unoccupied properties:

Property left unoccupied by a person now in detention:

If the person who should pay the Council Tax is in prison or detained under Mental Health Act 1983 (this doesn't include people detained for non-payment of fines or Council Tax, or in Police Custody before a first court appearance)

Property left unoccupied due to repossession:

If the Mortgage Lender takes back a property as part of repossession proceedings

Property left unoccupied following bankruptcy:

If the person who should pay the Council Tax goes bankrupt and the liable party is now a trustee in bankruptcy (responsibility has been handed over to the administrators)

Planning or legal restrictions

An annexe which has a planning restriction which does not allow it to be let out separately from another dwelling within the grounds (usually due to planning conditions).

Or an empty property which has a legal restriction (such as a planning control or other legal order) which prevents it from being occupied at all. This doesn’t apply where just one or more people are refused entry.


You might be able to get a 50% discount on the Council Tax for your annexe if:

  • the annexe is being used as part of the main home by the people living in the main home (for example as extra living space or storage).
  • the annexe is being lived in by a relative of the Council Tax payer in the main house.

Apply for 50% Annexe discount

Exempt Annexes

Your annexe might be exempt from Council Tax if:

  • the annexe is lived in by a dependent relative of a person in the main house. A person is considered dependent if they are aged 65 years or older, have a severe mental impairment or have a substantial and permanent disability.
  • the annexe has a planning restriction which does not allow it to be let out separately from another dwelling within the grounds (usually due to planning conditions).

Job-related Second Homes

If your job needs you to live in a certain property as a condition of your employment and you also have another home you are liable to pay Council Tax for – you may get a discount of 50% on the property which is your second home.

This doesn’t apply to properties you choose to live in because they are closer to work, or that have not been provided by your employer.

Complete and return our second home questionnaire [PDF, 0.2MB]

If your second home is not in our area, you will need to apply for the discount with the Council that you pay Council Tax to.

Caravans and Boats

  • If you own a caravan or boat that's not being lived in, you can get a 50% discount on the Council Tax for it
  • if a plot doesn't have a caravan on it or a mooring doesn't have a boat on it, it will be exempt from Council Tax
  • if your plot or mooring is empty and won’t be used in future, you can ask for it to be taken off the list by contacting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

There are discounts available for the below residents:

  • residents from Ukraine who are living in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine visa scheme
  • foreign diplomats and members of visiting forces

To request an exemption as a member of a visiting force please complete our short form. [PDF, 40Kb] [PDF, 75Kb]

  • armed forces accommodation (owned by the Ministry of Defence)
  • members of certain international headquarters and organisations
  • some members of religious communities, such as monks and nuns who are dependent on the religious organisation to provide for their material needs
  • a property which is unoccupied and awaiting a Minister of religion, for example a Vicarage.


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