Full Council Tax is charged where two or more adults live in a property. If only one person lives in a property, a 25% rebate is given. This is called a 'single person discount'. You can apply for single person discount whether you live alone or with children, as long as they're under 18.
In addition, some people are not counted in the number of adult residents. If, after discounting a person, the number of adult residents is only one, a 25% rebate is given. If all the residents are discounted, a 50% rebate is given.
A 50% reduction will apply (in addition to any discounts or levy) for people living in annexes who are relatives of the person liable for Council Tax on the main dwelling and for people who are using an annexe as part of their main residence.
- 18 or 19 year olds you're claiming child benefit for
- Students under 20 in further education, on recognised courses (for example, A-level, BTEC)
- 18 or 19 year olds who left school or college after 30 April, for the period between the end of their course and the following 1 November
- Full-time students or student nurses
- Youth training trainees and apprentices
- Non-British spouses of full-time students
To apply please use the student exemption form.
- People who live with and care for a disabled person who is not their spouse, partner or child under 18
- People living in residential care homes, nursing homes or mental health nursing homes
- Long-term patients in hospital
- People who are severely mentally impaired and receive certain benefits (see below)
You may be able to get a reduction in your Council Tax if a disabled person lives at your address and he or she uses a wheelchair indoors, or if the property has:
- An additional bathroom or kitchen especially for the disabled person
- Another room used mainly to meet the disabled person's special needs
- For full time students, please see the 'Students and young people' section above
- For single person discount, please see the 'Single persons' section above
- For severe mental impairment, please see the 'Apply for a severe mental impairment discount/exemption' section below
- For any other discounts, please complete the general enquiry form and state which discount you're applying for, and upload any supporting evidence
Severe mental impairment discount/exemption
A Council Tax bill is based on two adults living in a property. If one of the adults is severely mentally impaired, a 25% discount on Council Tax payments may be awarded. When a person with a severe mental impairment lives in a property on their own, they get an 100% exemption from Council Tax, which means they would have nothing to pay.
The definition of severe mental impairment is:
'Severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent.'
To claim a severe mental impairment discount on Council Tax, a person must have a certificate of severe mental impairment is issued by their GP, and be entitled to one of the following qualifying benefits:
- ESA/Incapacity Benefit - at a higher long term rate only
- Attendance Allowance - at a high or lower rate
- PIP payments - at a higher or lower rate
- Care Component of Disability Living Allowance - at a higher or middle rate
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance - at one of the four rates payable under disablement benefit or war disablement
- Unemployment Allowance payable as an increase to Disablement Pension
- Disability Working Pension
- Income Support (with the additional condition of paragraph 2 to Income Support General Regulations 1987)
To apply for the severe mental impaired discount/exemption, you'll need to download and print a copy of the application form. You'll need to fill in the required sections, and your GP will also need to complete a section of the form.
Once the form is fully completed you'll need to send the form to us online, along with proof that you or the applicant are receiving a qualifying benefit.
If you don't have access to a printer and can't print the form for you and your GP to complete, you can contact us on 01642 726006 and ask for a paper form to be sent to you. You'll still need to complete the form and send back to us.
- People in prison (except those in prison for not paying Council Tax or a fine)
- People staying in certain hostels and night shelters
- Members of religious communities (such as monks or nuns)
- Members of visiting forces or international headquarters and defence organisations
The following occupied properties are exempt from paying Council Tax, and will be for as long as the property meets the description:
- Halls of residence for students
- Property where all the residents are full-time students and/or student nurses
- UK Armed Forces accommodation
- Visiting Forces accommodation
- Property where all the residents are under 18 years old
- Property where all the residents are severely mentally impaired and would have to pay Council Tax if this exemption did not exist
- Property where all the residents are diplomats
- Domestic property which is part of another domestic property, and the person living in it is a dependent relative of a person living in the main property
The following unoccupied properties are exempt from paying Council Tax, and will be for as long as the property meets the description (unless stated):
- Property owned, and last occupied, by a registered charity
This applies for a maximum period of six months.
- Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is in prison
- Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is staying long-term in a care home, hostel or hospital
The exemption will only be awarded where the person does not intend to return.
- Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax has died, and neither probate nor letters of administration have yet been granted
This applies until probate / letters of administration have been granted and for six months afterwards (unless someone else becomes the owner).
- Property unoccupied because the law says nobody is allowed to live in it
- Property kept vacant for a religious minister to move into
- Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is living at another address where they are being cared for
- Property unoccupied because the person who would normally pay Council Tax is living at another address where they are caring for someone who is elderly, ill or disabled
- Property unoccupied because the person who last lived there, and who would normally pay Council Tax, is now a student living elsewhere
- Property unoccupied because the mortgagee has repossessed it
- Property unoccupied because it is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
- An empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
- Unoccupied domestic property which is part of another domestic property, and can't be rented out separately (e.g. unoccupied 'granny flats')
- For full time students, please see the 'Students and young people' section above
- For severe mental impairment, please see the 'Apply for a severe mental impairment discount/exemption' section above
- For any other exemptions, please complete the general enquiry form and state which exemption you're applying for, and upload any supporting evidence
If your application for a discount or exemption has been refused, we'll send you a full written explanation.
Before you can appeal you must write to us. If you don't agree with our response, you have two months to appeal the decision.
Appeals must be made via the Valuation Tribunal website, or in writing to:
The Valuation Tribunal Office
2 Trafford Court
Phone: 0300 123 2035
Council Tax Reduction
If you're liable to pay Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. This is available to people on low incomes (including people who work but are on a low wage) to reduce the amount of Council Tax they must pay.
For Council Tax payers of pensionable age, a second adult rebate based on the circumstances of a second adult may be claimed. The second adult cannot be a partner or paying you rent.
You can find claim forms for many of the discounts and exemptions by visiting the all forms and frequently asked questions page. If the form you need isn't there, please contact Revenue Services who will explain what you need to do to make a claim.