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Council tax reductions, discounts, exemptions

Single person discount

If you’re the only adult (aged 18 or over) living in your home, you can make an application for a single person Council Tax discount of 25 percent.

Second homes - Council Tax discount is awarded on your main home and not on second homes.

Who moved out? - If you are applying for a discount because someone has moved out of your home leaving you as the only adult, please tell us their new address. This will help us check your application. You will not be entitled to a discount if someone has left your home for a short period of time, or intends to return in the future. In some cases we may request some proof to confirm entitlement or the date from which the award should apply.

Back dated Discount - Single person discount will be awarded from the date you became entitled to it, and not from the date that you tell us about it.

Adults not counted for Council Tax purposes (disregarded adults) - You may be entitled to a discount if adults living in the property fall into a category which means they are disregarded (ignored) for the purposes of calculating the discount - see Disregarded adults section below:

  • If all the adults are disregarded, there is a 50% discount
  • If all but one of the adults living at the property is disregarded, there is a 25% discount
  • If there are two or more adults who are not disregarded, there is no discount

What happens next - if you are eligible, we will send you a new Council Tax bill with the discount applied to your account and a revised balance, showing any amounts owing to the Council, or credit due to be refunded to you. If your account is in credit it will be refunded to you automatically by BACS or cheque. If you pay by Direct Debit, and there is still a balance outstanding, the amount we take each month will automatically change.

Change of Circumstances - you must tell us using our Contact Us form straight away if your circumstances change, such as another adult moving in, or a child becoming 18. If you fail to let us know within 21 days you could incur a financial penalty or even be prosecuted. This list is not exhaustive, so if in doubt about whether you are still entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax please let us know so we can check.

Penalty - It is an offence to give false information and may result in a penalty of at least £70 being added to your account.

Apply for Single Person Discount

Disregarded adults

These people are not counted as adults for council tax purposes:

Full-time students (including student nurses)
Students and student nurses undertaking a full-time or qualifying course at a college or university in the UK, foreign language assistants and students in further education under 20 years old.

People aged 18 or over entitled to child benefit
A person who is aged 18 or over and is still eligible for child benefit.

To qualify as an apprentice you must be:

  • employed to learn a trade, business, profession, office role or vocation
  • on a recognised course of training leading to an accredited qualification
  • paid no more than £195 per week gross

Care providers
A person resident in a household who gives or receives care. At least 35 hours of care must be provided each week. The person cared for must normally be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits and must not be your partner or a child under 18.

Members of a visiting armed force
People and their dependents who have a relevant association with a visiting force. A member, or his/her dependant, of an international headquarters or defence organisation.

Members of an international HQ or Defence Organisation
People and their dependents who have a relevant association with an international headquarters or defence organisation.

Foreign language assistants
A person must be registered with the British Council as a foreign language assistant and have a current appointment as a foreign language assistant at a school or other educational institution in Great Britain.

Members of a religious community
The principal occupation of which consists of: prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering, or any combination of the above, and has no income of capital of his own, (disregarding any income by way of a pension in respect of former employment) and is dependent on the community to provide for his material needs.

Partners of students who are not British 
The spouse or dependent of a student, not a British citizen and is prevented by immigration rules from "taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.

People entitled to diplomatic immunity or privileges.

Patients in hospital or care home
People who are residents in a hospital or a care home. You can apply if you or a member of your household have:

  • been, or expect to be in hospital for at least 52 weeks
  • moved into a care home on a permanent basis.

Severely mentally impaired
This applies where a person is classed as severely mentally impaired. The person concerned must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit and have a doctor's certificate confirming the impairment.

Hostel resident
People staying in certain hostels or night shelters

People in detention
This applies where, due to the length of the sentence, the person is still regarded as having their sole or main residence in the property.

Last updated Thursday, 16th March 2017

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