If you are the only person over 18 living in your home as your sole or main residence, you are entitled to a 25% discount. If there is no one living at your property, you may be entitled to a discount. Discounts can also be claimed because certain people may not be liable for Council Tax and should therefore not be counted in the number of people in your household. Those who may be disregarded include: students and student nurses; Youth Training trainees; people caring for someone who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18; and people with a severe mental impairment.
A 50% reduction in Council Tax payable is granted for either:
(i) people living in annexes provided they are related to the person who would be liable to pay the Council Tax of the main dwelling (or the person who would be so liable were it not for an exemption or 100% discount or reduction on the main dwelling); or
(ii) people living in dwellings with annexes which are unoccupied provided they are using those annexes as part of their main residence.
A person is a relative of another if he or she:
(i) is the spouse or civil partner of that person, or
(ii) is that person's parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, great-uncle, great-aunt, great-nephew or great-niece, or
(iii) is that person's great-great-grandparent, great-great-grandchild, great-great-uncle, great-great-aunt, great-great-nephew or great-great-niece.
(a) a relationship by marriage or civil partnership shall be treated as a relationship by blood
(b) a relationship between two persons who are not married but are living together as a married couple shall be treated as a relationship by marriage and a relationship between two persons of the same sex living together as if they were civil partners shall be treated as a relationship by civil partnership; and
(c) the stepchild of a person shall be treated as that person's child;
(d) the child of the civil partner of a person shall be treated as that person's child.
Discount Class A and B: Properties that are furnished and are no one's sole or main residence, (unoccupied) - for example second homes - will no longer receive a 10% discount from 1 April 2013.
Discount Class C: Properties that become substantially unfurnished and unoccupied which have been such for a continuous period of less than three months will have no charge for the first three months and will then revert to a full charge.
The empty property discount will apply for a maximum of three months even if the property is sold to someone else. A new owner will not receive a further three months discount, only the balance of the three months, providing it remains unoccupied and unfurnished.
A property that is unoccupied and unfurnished for over two years is classed as a Long Term Empty property and will be subject to an additional premium of 50% on the basic full charge. This is in accordance with Section 11B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which gave councils the power to charge a premium in these circumstances.
With effect from 1 April 2019 the premium will increase to 100%.
Discount Class D: To qualify for this discount the property must meet the same criteria that were required under the previous Class A exemption (which was abolished from 1 April 2013);
(i) requires or is undergoing major repair work to render it habitable, or
(ii) is undergoing structural alteration; or
(iii) has undergone major repair work to render it habitable, if less than six months have elapsed since the date on which the alteration was substantially completed and the dwelling has continuously remained vacant since that date.
Properties will only fall into this class for a maximum period of 12 months and must be substantially unfurnished and unoccupied for the full term.
Properties that have already been unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 24 months cannot qualify for this discount. If this discount is granted while the property has been empty and unfurnished for less than 24 months, upon reaching 24 months it will then be classed as a Long Term Empty property subject to a premium as detailed above.
A Class D discount application form is available to print off, complete and return. This will help determine if the discount is applicable.
A property will normally be exempt from Council Tax if any of the circumstances listed below apply. The groups stated are in broad terms and within each of the classes a number of conditions may need to be met before the exemption is satisfied.
Class A: Class A was abolished on 1 April 2013.
Class B: An unoccupied dwelling owned by a charity is exempt for up to six months from the day it was last occupied providing it was last occupied in furtherance of the objects of the charity. The dwelling may be unfurnished or furnished (please advise if furnished or unfurnished at time of claim). On expiry of the exemption period the property will become a Long Term Empty property liable for 100% of the charge. Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished for over two years will be subject to a premium as detailed above.
Class C: Class C was abolished on 1 April 2013.
Class D: An unoccupied dwelling is exempt indefinitely if the former occupier is in prison (imprisonment for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine is excluded). The property may be either furnished or unfurnished.
Class E: Unoccupied property where the former resident is receiving care in hospital or a care home.
Class F: Unoccupied property where the former liable Council Tax payer has died and the only person liable would be the deceased's personal representative. The exemption continues for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration. On expiry of the exemption period the property will become a Long Term Empty property and will then be liable for 100% charge. Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished for over two years will be subject to a premium as detailed above.
Class G: Unoccupied property exempt indefinitely if occupation prohibited by law.
Class H: Unoccupied property such as a vicarage if it is being held for occupation by a minister of religion from where he or she will perform the duties of their office.
Class I: Unoccupied property because the former resident is receiving care elsewhere.
Class J: Unoccupied property because the former resident is providing care elsewhere.
Class K: Unoccupied property if it was last occupied as the sole or main residence, of its sole owner, who is now a full time student for Council Tax purposes and is living elsewhere.
Class L: Unoccupied property where the mortgagee is in possession of the property (repossession).
Class M: Students' Halls of Residence.
Class N: All occupants of a property are full time students for Council Tax purposes.
Class O: UK Armed Forces accommodation.
Class P: Visiting Forces accommodation.
Class Q: Property left empty by a bankrupt person.
Class R: Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring.
Class S: Property solely occupied by persons under 18 years of age.
Class T: Unoccupied annexe that cannot be let separately from the main dwelling without a breach of planning control.
Class U: All occupants of a property are severely mentally impaired persons.
Class V: Main residence of a person with diplomatic, Commonwealth or Consular privilege.
Class W: Occupied annexe to an occupied property. Exemption applies if the annexe is one of at least two dwellings in a single property and occupied as sole and main residence by a dependant relative (65 years or over, or severely mentally impaired, or substantially or permanently disabled) of a person living in the other dwelling.
If you think you may be entitled to a discount not shown on your bill, please contact the Council Tax helpline on 01789 260990.
If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must tell us of any change of circumstances that affects your entitlement. If you do not, you may have to pay a penalty of £70 in the first instance, and £280 for every time afterwards.
For further information, please contact Revenues: