Council tax discounts and exemptions

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to a discount or a full exemption on your council tax bill.

For information about people who are exempt see guidance on who has to pay council tax on GOV.UK.

Some of the ways in which your circumstances might impact on your council tax bill are detailed here. For further guidance contact the council tax team.

Single Occupancy Discount

You may be eligible for Single Occupancy Discount if you're the only adult (18 years old and above) living in your home.

If you qualify, then you are entitled to a 25% reduction to your council tax bill.

Student discount or exemption

If you are in full-time education at a registered college or university, then you may be able to apply for a student council tax discount or exemption, depending on who else lives within your home address.

If you qualify, then you will be exempt from council tax as a student.

A charge may still be applicable at the property dependent on whether there are any other occupants, and if so whether they are also students.

Severe Mental Impairment exemption

Those with certain medical conditions may qualify for Severe Mental Impairment Exemption. Their carers may qualify for a Carer's Disregard.

We will award:

  • a 100% council tax exemption where someone is suffering from a severe mental impairment, lives alone and is liable for council tax
  • a 50% council tax disregard if they live with one qualifying carer
  • a 25% disregard if they live with one other person over the age of 18

Council Tax Support

If you are on a low income or unemployed you may qualify for Council Tax Support.

You can apply for Council Tax Support if you own your own home. If you are a tenant, a claim for Housing Benefit will automatically count as a claim for Council Tax Support.

Council Tax Discretionary Reduction

If you are struggling to pay your council tax bill, you may be able to apply for a reduction in your bill from the Council Tax Discretionary Reduction Scheme.

Properties affected by the removal of 'Class A' and 'Class C' exemptions

Council tax exemptions used to be in place for properties which were:

  • undergoing extensive structural repairs or renovations, referred to as 'Class A'
  • empty and substantially unfurnished, referred to as 'Class C'

Class A exemption

The 'Class A' exemption was removed on 31 March 2013 and replaced with a 50% reduction.

Once a property meets the criteria and evidence has been submitted confirming the property is undergoing extensive structural repairs or renovations, then the 50% discount will be applied for up to 6 months.

Payments on the Council Tax account must be kept up to date until the discount is applied as should the account default you may face recovery action.

Council tax exemptions cannot be applied because the property is in disrepair, undergoing substantial structural alterations, major renovation or other alterations which result in the property being incapable of occupation.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may remove a property from the Valuation List if it is truly derelict and unfit for occupation.

Class C exemption

The 'Class C' exemption was removed on 31 March 2014.

Currently properties left empty will be charged at 100% of chargeable rate, regardless of whether they are furnished or not.

See more information about second homes and empty properties on GOV.UK.

Properties affected by the removal of second home discount

The second home discount was removed on 31 March 2013.

Properties left empty but which remain furnished will be charged at 100% of chargeable rate.

The VOA cannot deal with matters arising from the removal of the second home discount. Owners of second homes may wish to explore if they are eligible to be assessed under National Non Domestic Rates (business rates) rather than council tax.

See more information about business rates on GOV.UK.

Changes resulting from the Welfare Reform Bill

If you have been affected by the changes resulting from welfare reforms and the council tax reduction scheme, the VOA are unable to help you unless you qualify for banding reduction on other grounds.

See more information about council tax discount for people with disabilities.

Also see

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