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Council Tax Reductions and Discounts
Council Tax Reduction
Help may be available to help you meet the cost of your council tax. The amount of help you could receive is based mainly on who lives with you and the total amount of money you have coming into your household. Even if you own your own home, you may still be able to receive help with your council tax.
Council Tax Reduction could help you pay your council tax if you're on a low income. Council Tax Reduction can pay for part or all of your council tax and you can apply whether you're unemployed or working.
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/main residence. 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. You must ensure you return this even if there has been no change to your circumstances. If you take more than 21 days to tell us of a change in your circumstances, we may impose a penalty of up to £70.00.
Are there any other discounts available?
You may be entitled to a discount if you or someone who lives with you is:
- 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 discount can be applied.
Empty property discounts
The Government made changes to the Local Government Finance Act 2012 which means that Councils have discretionary powers to change some council tax empty property discounts and exemptions from 1 April 2013.
The following discounts now apply:
•Class A - Furnished Holiday Let - 0% Discount
•Class B - Furnished and unoccupied properties, including second homes - 0% Discount
•Class C - Unfurnished and unoccupied - 100% Discount for one month only followed by 0% Discount. There must be a period of occupancy for six weeks between awards of Class C discount. This could mean that the discount has already been claimed by the previous liable person.
•Class D - Dwellings requiring structural alterations or major repairs - 0% Discount
•Class E - Main residence of armed services serving personnel - 50% Discount (Some restrictions apply)
•Class F - An annex being used by a person living in the main residence as part of their main home - 50% Discount
•Unoccupied second properties where liable person occupies employment tied accommodation - 50% Discount
Empty Homes Premium
From 1 April 2019, if a property remains unfurnished and unoccupied for more than two years there will be an additional 100% premium, this means that owners of these properties pay 200% of the Council Tax charge.
Disabled Band Reduction
If a disabled person lives in your household and special adaptations have been made to the property to help with that person's needs, a reduction 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 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 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.
Council Tax hardship scheme
Council tax hardship awards are included in Section 13A Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended by Local Government Act 2003, section 76. The scheme’s aim is to award relief towards council tax payable by the applicant who is suffering financial hardship.
Applicants liable for council tax should submit a written request and return it with:
- The main reason for applying
- Their income and expenditure
- Evidence to support their claim
- Contact details
If you do not agree with our decision
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 us of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement. If you fail to do so, you may have to pay a penalty.