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Check if you are eligible for a discount

There are many discounts and reductions available to help reduce the amount of Council Tax you pay, depending on your circumstances.

If you think you are entitled to any of the below discounts, you should complete our contact us form or call us on 01954 713 000

We will verify the information received to ensure that the correct requirements are met, and we may ask for further information or evidence. Once the application has been verified, we will apply the discount and send you a revised Council Tax bill confirming the change. We are usually able to apply the discount within 28 days of receiving the application, however this may vary, depending on our volume of work.

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


Apply for a single person discount


If you are the only person aged 18 or over living in a property considered to be your sole or main residence, then you may qualify for a 25% SPD discount on your Council Tax bill.

You can also use the above form to cancel your SPD if you are no longer the main resident. You may be liable for a penalty if you fail to inform us of the change.

If you have become the main occupier of your home, due to someone passing away, please notify us by using the Government's Tell Us Once service.

Which is my main residence?

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

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

The above factors are the issues we are instructed to consider in order to determine someone’s sole or main residence by Council Tax Case Law.

However if you have an interest in more than one property we will need to establish which address we consider to be your main residence for Council Tax purposes (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).

I have a partner or spouse occupying another property, am I still entitled to SPD?

Usually, a couple are considered to be living together. We would determine one property to be the main residence for both, even if they own or rent separate properties. An absence by either person is likely to be seen as temporary, for example:

  • if one person works away 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. (If the serving member of the forces serves a tour of duty, they may be entitled to a rebate through their expenses. Please contact the relevant military personnel who deals with expenses for further information)

In the above instances, the full Council Tax charge would be applied.

We offer a number of exemptions and discounts which might be appropriate for disabled and vulnerable people, and those who care for them.

You could be eligible if:

  • you are permanently leaving your property empty to provide or receive care elsewhere (for example, a hospital, care home, a relative or other person’s home). Please complete our change of address to receive care form if you think you are eligible
  • a resident, or residents, are diagnosed with a severe mental impairment. A person must be certified as eligible by a Registered Medical Practitioner, and they must be entitled to an appropriate benefit 
  • you are a carer for someone who you live with, you provide them with care for at least 35 hours per week on average, and are not a disqualified relative
  • a second dwelling in a single property (for example, an annexe) is occupied by a dependent relative (for example a partner, or parent of a child under 18)
  • a resident is detained in prison, or under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • a property is unoccupied, owned by a charity and used for a charitable purpose. A 6-month exemption will be given from the date the property was last occupied.

Disabled Band Reduction

This is a scheme which aims to ensure that disabled people do not pay more because they live in a larger property than they would have needed if they were not disabled.

The property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person, and it must have at least one of the following:

  • a room predominantly used by and required by a disabled person to meet their needs (other than a single bathroom, kitchen or toilet)
  • an additional bathroom or kitchen for use by a disabled person
  • extra space inside the property to allow for the use of a wheelchair.

The discount available is equivalent 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.

Severe Mental Impairment

Apply for a discount on the grounds of severe mental impairment. [PDF, 78Kb]

Those residents who are diagnosed with an impairment of intelligence and social functioning, however caused, which appears to be permanent, can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.

  • To receive the disregard, a person must be certified as eligible by a Registered Medical Practitioner, and they must be entitled to an appropriate benefit (these include Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Daily Living Component of PIP and Disability Living Allowance).

If a property is occupied by one or more people, and all those occupants are Severely Mentally Impaired - then the property can be exempt from Council Tax.

Please complete our contact us form to request an application or call us on 01954 713 000. Once we receive your application, we may contact you to arrange an appointment for one of our Outside Inspectors to visit your property to confirm you are eligible.

A property may be exempt from Council Tax if all residents are classed as students.

If a property has students and one non-student adult living there, students will not be counted for Council Tax purposes and the adult can claim a 25% discount on their bill.

You can also claim a discount if you are:

  • a foreign language assistant
  • a non-British spouse of a student
  • a school/collage leaver who is under 20 years of age and has ceased being a student on or after 1 May of that year.

Other properties which might be exempt:

  • student halls of residence
  • properties where the occupiers are all under the age of 18
  • unoccupied properties where the owner is a student.

To apply for this discount please log into OPENPortal to complete our online discount form. 

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

This discount does not apply to the following:

  • minor changes such as the addition of 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

To find out more please read our Charges for empty properties page.

Empty properties following the death of a resident

Dealing with administration following the death of a person can be difficult.

When the liable person of a property passes away and the Executors of the Estate become responsible for the empty property, 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 6-month limit has expired, the full charge will be due. Please note:

  • If a property is 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 somebody moves into the property or someone else becomes the owner, the exemption will end and the resident/owner will become liable for the Council Tax.
  • In the situation where the property was jointly owned, the Council Tax liability will pass to the surviving owner and a full charge will be due from the date of death.

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

Other exemptions available for unoccupied properties

If you think you are eligible for any of the below please contact us.

  • A property left unoccupied by the liable person who has now been detained in prison or under the 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)
  • an unoccupied property which has been repossessed by a Mortgage Lender
  • an unoccupied property for which the liable party has been made bankrupt, and the liable person is now a Trustee in Bankruptcy
  • a dwelling which has a planning restriction which does not allow it to be let out separately from another dwelling in the same grounds
  • a property which has a legal restriction preventing it from being occupied.


An annexe may receive a discount if it is being used as part of the main residence by the residents of the main dwelling, or if it is occupied by a dependent relative of the Council Tax payer in the main residence. The person in the annexe would need to be dependent on the occupants of the main house due to their age (if they are at least 65 years old), disability, drug, or alcohol dependence.

If an annexe has a planning restriction which does not allow it to be let out separately from another dwelling in the same grounds it may also be exempt from Council Tax. 

To apply for this discount please complete our short form [PDF, 89Kb].

Work related second homes

If you live in, and pay Council Tax for a property which your employer requires you to occupy as a condition of the employment, and you are liable for Council Tax on a second furnished property, you may qualify for a discount of 50% on the unoccupied property.

Please complete our second home questionnaire [PDF, 0.2MB] and make sure you apply for the discount with the Council which serves the area your Second Home is in.

Caravan and boats

The owner of an unoccupied caravan or boat is entitled to a 50% Council Tax discount for that property. When a caravan plot doesn’t have a caravan on it, or a boat mooring doesn’t have a boat occupying it, the plot/mooring can be exempt from Council Tax. If the plot or mooring will not be used as a main residence in the future, it can be removed from the valuation list.

Residents who are members of Religious Bodies and certain International Organisations can be disregarded for Council Tax, or if the property is their main residence in the United Kingdom, it could be exempt.

This discount applies to:

  • foreign diplomats and members of visiting forces
  • armed forces accommodation
  • 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.

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

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