Your guide to Council Tax

Discounts, disregards and premiums


The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two or more adults (that is, people aged 18 or over) living in a property.

Single occupancy discount

If only one adult lives in a property (as their main home) the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%. Backdating will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and proof will be required.

Care leavers

From 1st April 2020, if you are a Care Leaver aged under 25 who is paying Council Tax, we may be able to reduce the amount you pay.

Unoccupied unfurnished accommodation

For a property that is habitable but is unoccupied and unfurnished (empty), and upon application to the Council, a 100% discount can be granted for the maximum of 28 days from the date the property became empty. Applicants will be required to prove that their properties were empty from that date. After the discount period, full Council Tax will be payable. There is no discount for uninhabitable properties.

Unoccupied furnished accommodation

For properties that are unoccupied and furnished, full Council Tax will be payable. This also applies to properties that remain furnished but unoccupied between tenancies (including student-let accommodation).

Second home discount

If the property is classed as your second home there is no discount available and you will have to pay the full charge.

Houseboats and caravans

For second homes that consist of a pitch occupied by a caravan, or a mooring occupied by a boat, there will be a 50% discount.

People disregarded for discount purposes

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a property. This means that if all but one of the residents in a property falls into one of the groups below, the Council Tax will be reduced by 25%:

  • full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees
  • people staying in certain hostels or shelters
  • patients permanently resident in hospital
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have left school and will be taking up a university type course.
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or a child under 18 years
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
  • members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
  • diplomats

Properties with annexes

You can have a 50% discount on an annexe to your property which is lived in by a family member. In order to qualify for the discount, the annexe must be either used by the resident(s) of the main property or occupied by a family member. If a non-family member occupies the annexe the discount will not apply. Some annexes are already exempt from Council Tax. These will not be affected by this discount and will continue to be exempt. If you think you may qualify for the discount, please contact Customer Services on 01932 838383.

If your bill indicates that a discount or exemption has been allowed, you must inform Customer Services of any changes of circumstances that may affect your entitlement. If you fail to do so you may have to pay a penalty.

All bills issued with a discount or exemption will assume the circumstances will remain the same throughout the whole financial year.

If the discount or exemption is only applicable for a period of time (e.g. unfurnished/unoccupied discount is only applicable for up to three months) a revised bill will be issued once the discount or exemption ceases.

Long-term empty property premium

To encourage owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use, a 50% Council Tax premium will be charged on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than one year. The person liable for the Council Tax for the empty property will then have to pay 150% of the Council Tax charge.

Get in touch about Council Tax

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.