Full council tax is normally payable where two or more adults live in a property. Your property or household circumstances may, however, mean that you can receive a discount or full exemption.
If you have a low household income or are in receipt of welfare benefits, you may be eligible to receive council tax reduction.
Annexes occupied by dependent relatives
An annex that is part of another dwelling and is occupied by a dependent relative who is either aged 65 or over; or severely mentally impaired; or substantially and permanently disabled is exempt from council tax. If an annexe is occupied by a non-dependent relative or furnished and being used as part of the main property, a 50% discount applies.
Apprentices are not counted when determining how many people live at a property if they earn less than £195.00 each week. If all the people living at a property are apprentices or qualify for an alternative disregard, a 50% discount applies. If all but one of the people living at the property are disregarded, a 25% discount applies.
Armed forces accommodation
Property owned by the Ministry of Defence for armed forces accommodation. Please contact us for further information.
Carers are not counted when determining how many people live at a property. The carer must be living in the same property as the person they are caring for and cannot be their spouse or partner. If the carer is unpaid, they must provide care for at least 35 hours each week, or if they are a paid carer, they must earn less than £44.00 per week and provide care for a minimum of 24 hours per week. The person receiving care must also receive qualifying benefit.
Care leavers reduction
A discretionary reduction (care leavers' reduction) will be awarded to any care leaver formerly in Local Authority care aged 18 to 25, who lives in the borough, and is liable to pay council tax.
The reduction will reduce the amount of council tax a care leaver will have to pay, after the deduction of any council tax reduction and any other national reliefs such as the single person discount, to nil.
If you think you are eligible for this reduction, please complete the enquiry form below, selecting "other enquiry or advice" from the drop down list, and including relevant evidence of your care leaver status.
Properties left empty after someone has died are usually exempt from council tax until either six months after probate has been granted or someone else becomes responsible for the property.
Diplomats, visiting forces and members of an international HQ or defence organisation
Diplomats, members of visiting forces (for example, Menwith Hill) and members of international HQ or defence organisations are not counted. If anyone responsible for council tax is a member or a visiting force or a diplomat, a full exemption applies.
You might qualify for a reduction in your council tax if your home has special facilities to meet the needs of a disabled person.
Halls of residence
Property provided to accommodate mainly students.
Property owned or managed by an educational establishment or charitable body.
If a property is being used as a nursing/care home, anyone living at the property and receiving care will not be counted. In addition, any carers who live there will also not be counted provided that they meet the above criteria.
People who are detained or in prison
People that are temporarily absent from a property because they are detained or in prison are not counted. If the property is unoccupied because the resident(s) are being detained, a full exemption will apply.
Properties occupied by people under 18
A property occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18.
If a religious community occupies a property and its members are reliant on the community for their material needs, the members will not be counted if they have no income or capital. The principal occupation of the community must be prayer, relief of suffering, contemplation, education or any combination of these.
School leavers and child benefit
If someone has turned 18 but child benefit is still being paid, they will not be counted. In addition, anyone who is under 20 and leaves school or college after the end of April will not be counted until the end of October.
Severely mentally impaired
If someone is considered to be severely mentally impaired by their doctor or another registered medical practitioner, and they are entitled to a qualifying benefit, they will not be counted for council tax. If everyone at a property is considered severely mentally impaired, a full exemption applies.
Sole resident discount
If you are the only adult living at your property, you will usually qualify for a 25% sole resident discount. You can apply for this discount online using the form below. If your application is successful, you will receive an revised bill including the discount. If we are unable to award a discount, we will contact you to confirm the reason or any further information we require.
This discount does not apply to second homes, or if someone that is usually lives with you is temporarily living elsewhere (for example, working away from home, serving in the armed forces). If someone is living elsewhere because they are at college or university, their term time address is usually considered to be their main residence.
Students are not counted when they are on a full time course lasting at least one academic year and requiring 21 hours of study for at least 24 weeks. Students under 20 years old are also not counted if they are on a course that lasts three months or more and requires 12 hours of daytime attendance each week. If everyone at a property is student, a full exemption applies.
Properties occupied only by students, school or college leavers or foreign spouses of students who are not allowed to work or claim benefit are also not counted. Exemption also applies during vacations if the student(s) are the liable person(s) and the property is going to be used as their term-time accommodation.
An unoccupied property that is, or has recently been, the subject of major repair works or structural alteration is entitled to a 50% discount for up to 12 months. The discount lasts until the earlier date of:
- six months after completion of the alterations if the property stays unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, or
- 12 months from the date the discount started if the property stays unoccupied and substantially unfurnished
Unoccupied furnished properties and second homes
If no-one lives in a property, and it remains furnished, full council tax is payable. This applies to most holiday and second homes. A 50% discount applies however, if either
- the dwelling is a pitch occupied by a caravan or a mooring occupied by a boat or;
- you are required to live in another specific property and it is a condition in your contract of employment
Unoccupied unfurnished properties
For property which is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished a discount applies for the first six months. If ownership changes within this six-month period, the discount doesn't start again. The new owner is entitled to whatever remains of the original discount period. Any period of occupation of less than six weeks is ignored. After six months the full council tax change becomes payable. If the property is still unoccupied and unfurnished after two years there are additional charges, known as a premium.
Properties empty up to six months - 100% discount for the first week, then 40% for the remainder of the period.
Properties empty between six months and two years - 100% council tax charge payable.
Properties empty between two and five years - 200% council tax charge (100% premium).
Properties empty for more than five years - 300% council tax charge (200% premium).
Properties empty for more than ten years - 400% council tax charge (300% premium).
Youth trainees are not counted if they are under 25 and have a training plan under an approved scheme.
Ending a discount or exemption
If you are no longer entitled to a discount or exemption you are receiving, please let us know using our discount or exemption cancellation form.