This page provides information about Council Tax discounts in respect of both occupied and unoccupied homes. A Council Tax discount is a reduction in the amount of Council Tax that is charged in respect of a property.
It is an offence under the Council Tax regulations for a person to knowingly provide false or misleading information to the Council. The fine for this offence is £1000.
The Council may verify the information provided to confirm the exemption where the law permits.
Council Tax Charges
A 100 percent Council Tax charge assumes that at least two adults (persons aged 18 or over) are resident in the property. If there are more than two adults living in the property then the amount charged is not increased above the 100 per cent rate.
Discounts on Unoccupied/Occupied Properties
Homes occupied by Single Adults
If only one adult is resident in a property then a 25 per cent discount is given, this is called a Single Persons Discount.
Homes occupied as a condition of employment
Property that you must occupy as part of your employment will attract a 50 per cent discount - if the property is work related, occupied and occupation is stipulated as part of your contract of employment.
Certain types of people are disregarded when counting the number of adults who live in a dwelling. If the number of remaining non disregarded adults is one, then a 25 per cent discount may be claimed. If the number of non disregarded persons is nil then a 50 per cent discount may be claimed. To apply for a disregarded persons discount please contact us.
The categories of people who may be disregarded include:
- Full-time students
- Student nurses
- Apprentices and youth training trainees
- 18 and 19 year olds who have just left school
- Severely mentally impaired persons
- Persons caring for someone with a disability who is not their spouse, partner, or child under 18
- Members of religious communities
Discounts on Unoccupied Properties
If a property is not occupied by any persons as their main home then the following discounts may be allowed.
Homes unoccupied and substantially unfurnished
Since 1 April 2013, properties which were unoccupied and substantially unfurnished* could have a 100 per cent discount for 28 days from the date the property first became both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. From day 29 a full Council Tax charge was due and no further 28 day discount was allowable if the property was sold or let out to another person after this date.
In order for this discount to be reapplied to the same property, the property must have been occupied for a minimum period of 6 weeks.
From 1 April 2019, this 28 day discount has been discontinued.
* Substantially unfurnished is not defined in Council Tax law. However we take it to mean that sufficient furniture has been removed to leave the property incapable of occupation. As a minimum we would expect beds, chairs, tables, wardrobes, cabinets, televisions and personal effects to be removed. Abandoned goods that are unusable would normally be ignored as would certain white goods such as fridges or washing machines.
Homes undergoing major repairs
Since 1st April 2013 properties undergoing major works or structural changes are no longer exempt from Council Tax. Instead a discount of 50 per cent can be claimed. The maximum period of the discount is limited to 12 months.
From 1 April 2019, this discount has been discontinued.
Since 1st April 2014 the Government introduced a new 50% Council Tax discount for any annexe that is seperarately valued for Council Tax.
New 50% discount on occupied annexes applies if:
- Occupied by a person as their main residence; and
- The occupier of the annexe is related to the person liable to pay Council Tax on the main dwelling
This change means that people under the age of 65 will be eligible for a discount if they are resident in an annexe and related to the person paying the Council Tax in the main dwelling.
To apply for this discount complete the Annexe Occupied Discount form below:
There is no change to the existing exemptions on annexes which are summarised below:
Existing 100% exemption on an occupied annexe
If annexe is occupied by a dependant relative who is:
- A person aged 65 years or more
- A person who is severely mentally impaired
- A person who is substantially and permanently disabled (whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise)
To apply for this Exemption complete the Annexe Occupied Discount form below:
Existing 100% exemption on an unoccupied annexe
This exemption may be granted where an annexe is unoccupied and cannot be let separately without a breach of planning control under section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
An 'annexe' for the purpose of Class T is defined as a dwelling which forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling. This exemption can be granted regardless of whether the property is furnished or not, and continues as long as nobody is living in the annexe.
On receipt of you application we will ask the Council’s planning department to confirm that the annexe cannot be let separately from the main property without a breach in the planning restriction. The exemption does not apply where there is no restriction on the letting of the annexe.
For more information about Council Tax discounts contact us.
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Last updated: Monday, 1 April 2019 4:22 pm