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Council Tax reduction, discounts and exemptions

All Council Tax discounts are reviewed on a regular basis. If you have received a review letter asking to confirm your entitlement to a discount, please complete and return the letter as instructed - if you do not, we may cancel your discount.


On this page:

If you need advice or help with Council Tax Reduction, please contact the Benefits Team. If you need advice on discounts or exemptions, please contact the Council Tax Team.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction can help reduce the cost of your Council Tax bill.

Anyone on a low income who is liable to pay Council Tax may be entitled to this help - the amount of help available will depend upon your own individual circumstances.

For full details of the 2024/25 scheme, eligibility, disagreements and Exceptional Hardship Fund, see the Council Tax Reduction (CTR) Scheme page.

If you already know you are eligible, to find out how to claim, see the Council Tax Reduction claims page.

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Single person discount

If you're the only resident in your household over the age of 18, you can apply for single person discount to get a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill.

You can also apply for single person discount where there are other adults in the household, if those adults are:

  • full time students
  • student nurses
  • apprentices
  • youth training trainees
  • permanent hospital patients
  • residents of certain homes and hostels
  • severely mentally impaired people
  • residents of certain hostels and night shelters
  • members of certain religious communities
  • under 20 and in receipt of Child Benefit
  • carers and care workers
  • persons held in prison or legal detention
  • members of international headquarters or international defence organisations
  • members of visiting forces
  • non-British spouses of students
  • residents of a self-contained annexe occupied by a relation of the person liable to pay Council Tax on the main dwelling (50% discount)

You can apply for Single Person Discount on the My Council Tax website (this form is underneath 'Apply for Council Tax reductions' - there is a specific form for students and residents with a student living with them).

If anyone over the age of 18 and not in one of the categories above moves into your household, you will need to cancel your single person discount. You can cancel your Single Person Discount online on My Council Tax.

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Disabled reduction

You may be eligible for a disabled reduction if your home is the only or main residence of a disabled person. 

To qualify, there must be at least one disabled resident and the property itself must provide one of the following:

  • a room which is not a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory and which is predominantly used (whether for providing therapy or otherwise) by, and is required for meeting the needs of, a qualifying individual resident
  • a bathroom or kitchen which is not the only bathroom or kitchen in the home and which is required for meeting the needs of a qualifying individual resident
  • sufficient floor space to permit the use of a wheelchair, required for meeting the needs of any qualifying individual resident

A 'qualifying individual resident' is a person who is substantially and permanently disabled whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise.

To apply, please complete the Icon for pdf Council Tax Disabled Reduction application form [214KB]  and return it to the Council Tax Team.

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Exemptions and unoccupied charges

The following categories of property are not eligible for an exemption or reduction:

  • vacant property (unless included in the exemption categories below)
  • second homes
  • landlord unoccupied/unfurnished property
  • property newly constructed or subject to repair

Unless an empty property falls within an exemption class listed below, a full Council Tax charge is payable.

Where the property has been empty for a period of more than 1 year, an additional premium is applied. From the 1 April 2024:

  • a 100 percent premium will be added to properties that have been empty for between 1 and 5 years
  • a 200 per cent premium will be added to properties that have been empty for between 5 and 10 years
  • a 300 per cent premium will be added to properties that have been empty for more than 10 years

The calculation of the 1 year period starts from the date the property is first empty, not any following property purchase.

If you are having genuine difficulties in paying an empty property premium charge, or there are exceptional circumstances as to why the premium should not be charged, please contact the Council Tax Team.

Second homes, holiday homes and furnished let properties

With effect from the 1st April 2025, all second or holiday homes and furnished let properties which have not been permanently lived in for more than 1 year will also be liable to pay the 100% premium charge. At the moment, no additional premiums apply depending on how long the property has been a second or holiday home for.


Exempt properties

The following properties are exempt from Council Tax:

  • unoccupied and owned by a charity (time limited to 6 months)
  • left empty by an owner / leaseholder who has gone to prison
  • unoccupied due to the person having gone to live in a care home, hospital or nursing home
  • the unoccupied home of a deceased tax payer (time limited to 6 months from date of probate or letters of administration)
  • prohibited by law from being occupied
  • held for minister of religion
  • left empty because the liable person is providing care elsewhere
  • left empty by students
  • student halls of residence
  • only occupied by students
  • repossessed properties
  • UK armed forces accommodation
  • visiting forces accommodation
  • left empty by a bankrupt person
  • unoccupied caravan pitches or boat moorings
  • occupied solely by persons under the age of 18
  • unoccupied annexes which are unable to be let due to planning restrictions
  • occupied solely by severely mentally impaired persons
  • diplomatic residences
  • self contained annexes occupied by a relation of the person liable to pay Council Tax on the main dwelling who are aged over 65, disabled or mentally impaired.

It may be necessary to inspect the property to confirm entitlement. Therefore, when making a claim for an exemption please ensure that full contact details are provided. The council does not make a charge for any inspection, nor does it pay a fee to be able to inspect the property.

Please contact the Council Tax Team to request an exemption.

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If your circumstances change

If you're receiving Council Tax Reduction and your circumstances change, please let the Benefits team know.

If you're receiving Single Person Discount and your circumstances change, you can cancel it using the 'I want to cancel a single person discount' form on My Council Tax.

If you're receiving another council tax discount or an exemption and circumstances change, please let the Council Tax team know immediately. If this changes the amount of Council Tax that you need to pay, we will send you a revised bill.

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