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Discounts, premiums and exemptions

If you live in a property where one or more residents fall into the following catagories, you may be entitled to a discount regardless of how many people live in the property. This is known as being 'disregarded' for Council Tax discount purposes.

  • Sole occupier of your home
  • Students
  • Apprentices
  • Youth training trainees
  • Members of visiting forces, international organisations and diplomats
  • Severely mentally impaired people
  • Patients in care homes/hospitals
  • Carers and care workers
  • People in respect of whom child benefit is paid
  • Prisoners and detainees
  • Members of religious communities
  • Spouse or dependent of a full time student, who is not a British Citizen.


Discounts and premiums

There are two situations under which a discount may be applied based on the circumstances of the property:

  • Empty uninhabitable: Where the property is unoccupied and unfurnished, and is undergoing structural alteration or is in need of major repair to render it habitable. This includes the period up to 6 months after the repair or structural work is complete (provided that the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished). The discount level is 50%, and lasts for up to 12 months.
  • Annex discount: Where the property is an annex that it is used as part of the ‘main’ dwelling, or occupied by a relative of the resident in the main dwelling. 


From April 1, 2017, a premium charge of 150% will be added to any property which has remained empty and unfurnished for longer than two years, regardless of how long the current owner has had the property, except for when:

  • The property is the main residence of a member of the armed forces absent as a result of such service
  • The property forms part of a single property (ie. an annex) which is being treated as a part of the main dwelling by a resident of that property.
  • The property is on the market for sale or rent.


Exemptions

Some properties may be exempt from Council Tax for limited or unlimited periods, including the following:

  • Properties occupied only by students, under 18s, or severely mentally impaired people, including those owned by a university or college.
  • Armed forces accommodation or dwellings occupied by diplomats, or members of visiting forces.
  • Some annexes, whether unoccupied, or occupied by a dependent relative of the person resident in the main dwelling.
  • Unoccupied dwellings owned by a charity - up to six months.
  • Properties which remain unoccupied and in the estate of a deceased owner (or leaseholder for more than 6 months) - from the date of death and for up to 6 months after probate has been granted, unless occupied at any time after the date of death.
  • Properties which are unoccupied because the liable person (owner or tenant) has moved away to:
    • be a student
    • provide or receive care in a home, hospital or elsewhere
    • be held in detention
  • Unoccupied properties owned by a person who has been declared bankrupt and where a trustee has been appointed, or when a mortgagee is in posession of the property.
  • Unoccupied properties held available for occupation by a minister of religion (e.g. vicarage).
  • Unoccupied properties where occupation is prohibited by law.
  • Unoccupied caravan pitch of boat mooring - up to six months.


Applying for discounts and exemptions

Discounts and exemptions will only be considered once we have received the appropriate evidence of entitlement. You may also be required to complete an application form. 

You must continue to pay your bill as requested while we consider your application. If a reduction is granted a revised bill will be issued to you taking into account payments received. 

If there is a credit balance on your account after a reduction has been applied, this will be carried forward against your future liability or refunded to you on request.


A change in circumstances

If a discount or exemption has been applied to your account you must tell us within 21 days of any change in circumstances affecting your entitlement.

This includes advising when an unoccupied property becomes furnished, occupied or sold, or when an occupier of the property turns 18 or ceases to qualify for disregarded status.

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