The full Council Tax bill assumes that the dwelling is the sole or main residence of two or more adults. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), we will reduce the council tax bill by a quarter (25%). If you have been granted a discount which you believe you are not entitled to, or you think you are entitled to a discount but of a smaller amount, you are legally required to tell us within 21 days. If you fail to do this, you may be fined up to a £200 penalty.
People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a dwelling:
- Full time students
- Student nurses
- Youth training trainees
- Patients resident in hospital
- People who are being looked after in care homes
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- Careworkers working for low pay (usually for charities)
- 18 and 19 year olds who are attending or have just left school
- Members of visiting forces
- Members of certain international institutions
- People caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
- People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
- People with diplomatic privileges and immunities
- Members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
People with disabilities
If you or someone who lives with you need a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduced council tax bill. The bill may be reduced so that it falls into the band immediately below its normal band, and Band A properies may be reduced. These reductions ensure that disabled people do not pay more tax on space they need because of a disability.
If you think you may be eligible, please contact us for an application form on 01757 705101 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Some dwellings are exempt, including those occupied only by students, and vacant properties which are:
- Owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months)
- Left empty by someone who has gone into prison
- Left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home or elsewhere
- Left empty by someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person
- Left empty by students
- Waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
- Have been repossessed
- The responsibility of the trustee of a bankrupt
- Empty because their occupation is forbidden by law
- Waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
- Unoccupied caravan pitches and moorings
- Only occupied by people under 18 years old
- Empty granny flats/annexes which cannot be let separately
- Only occupied by severely mentally impaired people
- Occupied by a person who has diplomatic privileges or immunities
- Granny flats/annexes occupied by an elderly dependant relative aged 65 years or more, or a dependant relative who is substantially or permanently disabled.
Armed Forces barracks and married quarters are also exempt; their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement. If you think your property may be exempt you should contact us.
People who live in annexes may be eligible for a 50% reduction in the amount of council tax they pay if they are related to the person liable to pay the council tax of the main dwelling. This also applies to people living in dwellings with annexes which are unoccupied provided they are using those annexes as part of their main residence. If you think you may qualify please contact us.
Second homes and long-term empty homes are liable for the full council tax charge. However, there are two cases in which an empty property may be eligible for a discount. (You cannot claim both of the discounts at the same time). You must inform us immediately if the property becomes occupied or no longer qualifies for the discount awarded. Contact us to apply.
Uninhabitable and unfurnished properties which are undergoing major structural repairs, renovations or alterations may be eligible to receive a discount of 20% for up to twelve months. This discount can only be applied following a site inspection.
Homes that are empty and unfurnished may receive a council tax discount for up to six months or until the property becomes occupied. The discount will be 100% for the first calendar month and then 20% for the remaining five months of the discount period.
Any property that has been empty more than two years will be charged a further 100% empty homes premium. If you are having problems bringing an empty home back into use our Empty Homes Officer is able to offer advice and a range of support tools, including interest free repair loans, valuation and sales support and a successful tenant find service, to help unlock the potential of your empty home. For an informal chat please contact the council on 01757 705101 or email email@example.com.
You can also report an empty home online.
Council Tax Support
Council tax support can help you pay your council tax bill if you are on a low income. It is not a state benefit, but a council tax discount scheme. Whilst the entitlement of pension age people is assessed on their full council tax liability, all working age people currently have to pay the first 10% of their council tax. If you apply for council tax support, you must continue to pay your usual council tax - your application does not mean you will automatically qualify for support. Claim Council Tax support.
You can also view the full regulations for our council tax support scheme here.
We carried out a consultation over the way we deliver Council Tax Support in our area - you can read the consultation responses here. You can also read our equalities impact assessment and our vulnerability and work incentives policy that underpin the Council Tax Support scheme.
The grounds for appeal are restricted. These are where:
- You believe that the banding should be changed because there has been a material increase or material reduction (this is explained below) in the value of the dwelling.
- You start or stop using part of your dwelling to carry out a business, or the balance between domestic and business use changes.
- The listing officer has altered a list without a proposal having been made by a taxpayer.
- You become the taxpayer in respect of a dwelling for the first time.
- You believe your council tax support award is not correct.
You must make your appeal within six months. If the same appeal has already been considered and determined by a valuation tribunal, it cannot be made again.
A material increase in value may result from:
- Other work carried out on the dwelling.
In these cases revaluation does not take place until after a sale - so the person appealing would usually be the new owner or resident.
A material reduction in value may result from:
- The demolition of any part of the dwelling.
- Any change in the physical state of the local area.
- An adaptation to make the dwelling suitable for use by someone with a physical disability.
In these cases revaluation should take place as soon as possible.
You may also appeal if you think you are not liable to pay council tax. Examples of this could be:
- You are not the resident or owner.
- Your property is exempt.
- We have made a mistake in calculating your bill.
If you wish to appeal on these grounds you must first notify us in writing that you want your case to be considered. Making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of any council tax you owe in the meantime.
If your appeal is successful you will be entitled to a refund of any overpaid tax. Further details of the appeal procedures (including the role of valuation tribunals) may be obtained from the Valuation Office Agency.