The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults over 18 living in a dwelling (as their main home). If only one adult lives in a dwelling, a 25% discount will apply and the Council Tax bill will be reduced by a quarter.
Single Person Discount
If you are the only adult in your property you get a 25% discount on your council tax. This discount does not apply if the house is empty or if it is not your sole/mail residence. To apply you will need to fill in a Single resident or Unoccupied Property Discount form. If you have become the sole adult in your property as a result of another person moving out, we need a forwarding address for that person to process your discount.
From time to time we review entitlement to Single Person Discount and you may receive a review form. For more information please see the Single Person Discount Review FAQ
People not counted for Discount
For the purposes of deciding whether a discount applies, the following people are not counted:
- People caring for someone who is not a spouse, partner or child under the age of 18
- People who normally live in the property but are currently in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- Full-time students (including Project 2000 nurses)
- Apprentices or Training Credits Programme Trainees
- People who are under the age of 20 who have left school or college after 30 April (not counted until 1 November of that year)
- Members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
- People aged 18 for whom child benefit is still payable
- Student nurses
- People employed to provide care (e.g. through an agency such as CSV)
- People staying in certain hostels and night shelters
- Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- Diplomats, persons who have diplomatic immunity and certain members of their household
- Patients resident in a Hospital, Nursing or Care Home
- Spouses of foreign students
- Foreign language assistants
The above groups are stated in broad terms. Within each of the groups, a number of conditions may need to be met before the disregard is satisfied.
Working out whether you qualify for a Discount
To find out if a discount may apply to your home, you should count the number of adults living there who are not in the above list. If you are left with two or more people, there will be no discount. If there is one person, your bill may be reduced by a quarter. If you are left with no one, you may get your bill reduced by half.
Unoccupied property Discounts
- Class A - Furnished Holiday Let - 0% Reduction
- Class B - Furnished and unoccupied properties, including second homes - 0% Reduction
- Class C - Unfurnished and unoccupied - 100% Reduction for one month followed by 10% Reduction for 5 months followed by 0% Reduction for up to 18 months.
- Class D - Dwellings requiring structural alterations or major repairs - 0% Reduction
- Class E - Main residence of armed services serving personnel - 50% Reduction (Some restrictions apply)
- Class F - An annex being used by a person living in the main residence as part of their main home - 50% Reduction
- Long term empty premium - Dwellings unoccupied for more than 2 years - 50% additional premium.
- Unoccupied second properties where liable person occupies employment tied accommodation - 50% Reduction
If you disagree with the Council's decision about a discount, you can contact us explaining what you object to and why. If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must inform the us of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement. If you fail to do so, you may have to pay a penalty.
If a disabled person lives in your household and special adaptations have been made to the property to help with that personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s needs, relief may be available. Examples of special adaptations include:
- a room provided to meet the special needs of the disabled person (e.g. for storing dialysis equipment)
- an extra bathroom or kitchen is provided for the person with the disability
- extra space is created inside the dwelling to allow for the use of a wheelchair
This relief tries to ensure that disabled people are not disadvantaged by having to pay more tax because of extra space needed. Please note that the use of a private garage for a motor vehicle used by the disabled person is not one of the circumstances which qualify for a reduction.
If you qualify for relief your Council Tax bill will be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown in the Valuation List. For example, if your home is in band C, your Council Tax bill will be reduced to the equivalent of a Band B dwelling. This will not, however, affect the value of your home or its banding in the Valuation List.
If your home is in Band A, from 1st April 2000 you will qualify for a reduction if the criteria are met.
How to Claim
Fill in an application on-line or download a form
If you disagree with the Council's decision about Disabled Person's Relief, you can contact us explaining what you object to and why. If your bill indicates that Disabled Person's Relief has been allowed, you must inform us of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement. If you fail to do so, you may have to pay a penalty.
Some dwellings are exempt from Council Tax. These include dwellings occupied wholly by students and most empty dwellings. There are several classes of exemption, some of which only apply for a specified length of time:
- B - Unoccupied dwellings owned and last used by a charity (exempt for up to 6 months)
- D - Dwellings left unoccupied by people in prison
- E - Dwellings left unoccupied by long-stay hospital patients and also by people who move permanently into a nursing home or residential home
- F - Dwellings left unoccupied by deceased persons where Grant of Probate / Letters of Administration has not been obtained, and for a period of 6 months after such grant has been obtained
- G - Dwellings where occupation is prohibited by law
- H - Dwellings held vacant for a minister of religion
- I - Dwellings left unoccupied by people receiving care
- J - Dwellings left unoccupied by people providing care
- K - Dwellings left unoccupied by students
- L - Unoccupied dwellings where the mortgage has repossessed
- Q - Unoccupied dwellings in the possession of a trustee in bankruptcy
- R - A dwelling consisting of a Pitch or a Mooring which is not occupied by a caravan, or, as the case may be, a boat
- T - Dwellings forming part of another dwelling which cannot be let separately
- M - Students Halls of Residence
- N - Dwellings occupied wholly by students
- O - Armed Forces accommodation
- P - Visiting Forces accommodation
- S - Dwellings occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18
- U - Dwellings occupied only by a person or persons who is, or are, Severely Mentally Impaired
- V - Dwellings occupied by Diplomats, persons who have diplomatic immunity and certain members of their household
- W - Dwellings which form part of a single property and which are occupied by an elderly, severely mentally impaired or disabled relative of a person which lives in the other part of the property
The above classes are stated in broad terms. Within each of the classes, a number of conditions may need to be met before the exemption is satisfied. If you require further details about any of these classes, please contact us.
Where a single property contains more than one self-contained unit, each of those units is treated as a separate dwelling for Council Tax Purposes. A self-contained unit is defined as a building or part of a building which has been constructed or adapted for use as separate living accommodation. This includes structures such as those which are commonly termed 'Granny Annexes'.
With effect from 1st April 1997, legislation has been amended so that such units shall be exempt from Council Tax if they are occupied by elderly, severely mentally impaired or disabled members of the same family as live in the other part of the property.
A new exemption, Class W, as shown above, relates to this.
If you disagree with the Council's decision about an exemption, you can contact us explaining what you object to and why. If your bill indicates that an exemption has been allowed, you must inform the Council Tax Section of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement. A penalty may be payable if you fail to do so.
Properties only occupied by Full Time Students will be Exempt. There will be no Council Tax to pay once proof of student status is received.
In order to claim Exempt Dwelling Status for their property, students need to present Student Certificate (available on request from the University / College) to the City Council via any Customer Service Centre. A certificate is required for each individual occupier before Exemption can be granted.
Students can also make an on line application for Exempt Dwelling status.
From 1st April 2004 a student who is disregarded for the purpose of working out a discount is not held jointly liable if there is someone else with the same status and legal interest in the property who is not a student.
If the non student occupiers are Benefit claimants, then there can still be some reduction in the bill. See Council Tax Support for more details.
If the non Student occupier(s) are not Benefit claimants there will be something to pay, although there could be a discount if there is only one non student occupier.
Who is a Student ?
A student is any person taking a course at a prescribed educational establishment or institution (University, College etc.) and includes :
- A Foreign Language Assistant
- A person on a full time course
- A person under 20 years of age on a part-time qualifying course of education
- A Project 2000 nurse or those studying at university or college are regarded as students for Council Tax purposes.
A Qualifying course of Education is one which:
- Lasts more than 3 months;
- Hours studied exceeds 12 hours per week;
- The individual taking the course is under 20 years of age;
- Is not a correspondence course;
- Is normally a day time course
- Is at or below 'A' Level standard
A Full time course of education is one which:
- Lasts at least one academic year;
- Requires attendance for at least 24 weeks in each academic year;
- Normally requires an average of 21 hours a week study, tuition or work experience or a combination of such periods during periods of attendance.
Some student nurses are not counted as members of the household for Council Tax purposes. If a property is only occupied by student nurses they will all be disregarded, which means 50% of the Council Tax due for the property will be payable.
Which nurses are regarded as student nurses?
Those working towards a first inclusion on the register maintained under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.
What if the Student has a break in their studies ?
For example, leave of absence due to ill health etc, as long as they remain enrolled with the establishment and intend to return to their studies they would continue to be considered as a student for Council tax purposes. This is described as a period of 'intercalation'. Evidence of the break in studying would be required to allow this.
Overseas Students & their Spouses
Students who have partners who are not Students would normally be treated in the same way as any two co-occupiers of a property. An exception to this are Students who have a spouse or dependent who is not a British citizen, and who is prevented by the terms of their entry visa to the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits. In this case the spouse would be treated as the student was, subject to receipt of the appropriate documentation from the University/College.