Apply for a Council Tax discount or exemption

Council Tax

You may not need to pay the full amount of Council Tax if your situation fits into one of the categories below.

Your situation Before you apply Discount type/ rate
You live you your own Apply now, using the online form below.
  • single person discount (25% off your bill)
You live with another adult (or adults) and one, or more of them aren't counted for the purpose of Council Tax Check who doesn’t count for Council Tax (below). Unless it tells you to apply by email, you can use the online form below. 
  • single person discount (25% off your bill), or
  • disregarded discount (25% to 50% off your bill)
No one in your home, including you, counts for Council Tax Check that all occupants, including yourself, aren't counted for Council Tax (below). Unless it tells you to apply by email, you can use the online form below. 
  • exemption (100% off your bill)
Your property is used for one of the purposes we regard as an exempt property Check if your property use fits the exemption criteria (below). Unless it tells you to apply by email, you can use the online form below. 
  • exemption (100% off your bill for the period of the exemption)
Your property has had certain modifications to support someone with a disability Check our page on disablement relief to see the criteria and to apply.
  • Council Tax is reduced to the next lowest band
You don’t count for Council Tax Check you’re not counted for Council Tax (below). Unless it tells you to apply by email, you can use the online form below. 
  • disregarded discount (you won’t have to pay Council Tax)

Apply here

You need to tell us about the eligibility status of each person in the household and provide proof. See the sections below for details.

Once we receive your information, we'll work out what discount you’re entitled to.

Apply for a discount or exemption

To apply, you’ll first need to log in, or sign up, to My Account

You can apply on behalf of someone else if they are:

  • detained or in prison
  • in a care home or hospital
  • disabled
  • have severe mental impairment

You can also inform us of a person who has passed away.

Please note, you are applying for them regarding their own Council Tax account (not your own account). 

Apply on behalf of someone else

The following groups of people are disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax:

Students (full time)

The occupant is taking a full-time course at a recognised educational establishment.

The course must:

  • last for at least one academic or calendar year
  • require the student to undertake study, tuition or work experience at a university or college, for at least 24 weeks per year
  • average at least 21 hours per week

When you apply, please provide: a copy of the student certificate showing the details of the course.

Students (under 20)

The occupant is under 20 years old and taking a course at a recognised education institution.

The course must:

  • last at least three calendar months
  • require at least 12 hours a week of course-relevant activities

It mustn’t be:

  • a course of higher education
  • evening classes
  • correspondence courses
  • job-related training as part of employment

When you apply, please provide: a copy of the student certificate, and the learning agreement or letter from the school or college to confirm the start and end date of the course and the hours of study.

Spouses, civil partners, or dependents of foreign students

The person must be a non-British spouse, civil partner, or dependent of a full-time student and prevented by the terms of their UK entry visa from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.

Foreign language assistants

The person must be registered with the British Council as a foreign language assistant and working at a UK educational establishment. 

When you apply, please provide: a copy of your passport and a letter from the educational establishment confirming your start and end date.

School and college leavers

The occupant is:

  • 18 or 19-years-old
  • leaving school or college between May 1st and October 31st in any year

This disregard ends on November 1st of the same year they leave.

Apprentices

The occupant is taking an apprenticeship which is working towards an accredited qualification, and receiving a salary or allowance totalling no more than £195 per week.

When you apply, please provide:

  • a copy of the apprenticeship agreement, or a signed copy of an agreement between the apprentice and employer
  • copies of wage slips

Severely mentally impaired

The occupant is severely mentally impaired, as stated on a doctor’s certificate. They must also be eligible for certain benefits.

Before you apply: download and print a copy of our Council Tax Severe Mental Impairment Doctor's Certificate form  and arrange for the occupant’s doctor to complete it.

When you apply, please provide: the completed doctor’s certificate, as well as proof the person is entitled to one of these qualifying state  benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component
  • the highest or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • an increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance
  • the disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Unemployability Supplement (abolished in 1987 but existing claimants remain entitled)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance payable under the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Unemployability Allowance payable under the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes
  • Income Support which includes a disability premium because of incapacity for work

Resident in a care home, hospital or nursing home

The occupant has moved into a care home, hostel or independent hospital on a permanent basis to receive care or treatment.

Carers and careworkers

The occupant is providing care to someone (not their spouse, partner, or their child under 18), who lives in the same property. The person receiving care must also be receiving certain benefits.

The care provided must be at least 35 hours a week on average.

When you apply, please provide: proof of one of these benefits:

  • a higher rate of Attendance Allowance
  • an Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • an increased Disablement Pension
  • an increased Constant Attendance Allowance
  • the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment

Where the carer is an employee, the person proving care must:

  • be providing care or support through a connection with the Crown, a charity, or a local authority
  • be employed for at least 24 hours a week
  • be paid no more than £44.00 per week or less
  • be resident where the care is given, or in premises which have been provided for the better provision of care

Receiving Child Benefit

The occupant is 18 or over, but still receives Child Benefit.

In detention

The occupant has been detained in prison, in hospital or other place where they are detained for safety.

We will need to see proof of their detainment, but we will request it ourselves from the place of detention, once we have your completed form.

There are different criteria for unoccupied properties and occupied properties.

You can apply for an exemption if the property is unoccupied for one of these reasons:

Property owned by a charitable body

The property must have been last used to meet the charity’s objectives. and purposes, such as housing refugees. This exemption applies for up to six months only.

Four conditions must be met to qualify for this exemption:

  1. Property must be owned by a charitable body
  2. Body must be established for a charitable purpose
  3. The property must be unoccupied for a period of less than six months
  4. The last occupation must have been to further the charitable objectives

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching a copy of the charitable objectives.

Liable person in detention

The property is left empty by a person who is in prison or detained.

Liable person moved into a care home

Please see the section above called ‘People who don’t count for Council Tax’ for details of how to apply.

Liable person deceased

The property must have remained unoccupied since the date of death, and a grant of probate or letters of administration have not been made.

In most circumstances, the exemption will continue for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration.

Occupation prohibited by law

Occupation of the property has been prohibited by law, or is kept unoccupied by action taken under powers conferred by an Act of Parliament.

This exemption doesn't apply if the local authority has served a repair notice.

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching a copy of the prohibition order and pictures to support your application.

Property held for a minister of religion

The property must be a residence used by the minister to perform their duties of office.

Property left empty by a person needing personal care

The liable person has moved to live with someone else in order to receive personal care.

This care must be needed because of:

  • old age
  • disablement
  • illness
  • past or present alcohol or drug dependence
  • past or present mental disorder

The empty property must have been the person’s sole or main residence.

Property left empty by a person giving personal care

The liable person has moved to live with someone else in order to give personal care.

This care must be given because of:

  • old age
  • disablement
  • illness
  • past or present alcohol or drug dependence
  • past or present mental disorder

The empty property must have been the person’s sole or main residence.

Property left unoccupied by student(s)

The owner must be a student. Prior to leaving the property empty, they used it as their sole, or main residence. All other occupants were also students.

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching:

  • a copy of the student certificate
  • proof of current address, such as a Council Tax bill

Mortgagee in possession

The property has remained unoccupied since being possessed by the bank or building society which holds the mortgage.

When you apply, please provide: a letter from the financial institution confirming possession.

Property left empty by a trustee in bankruptcy

The liable owner is a trustee in bankruptcy under the Insolvency Act 1986, or other bankruptcy legislation.

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching:

  • a copy of the bankruptcy order
  • proof of new address

Property is a caravan pitch or boat mooring

The pitch isn’t occupied by a caravan, or the mooring isn’t occupied by a boat.

Please apply for this exemption by email.

Property is an annexe

The annexe forms part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling.

Please apply for this exemption by email.

There are different criteria for unoccupied properties and occupied properties.

You can apply for an exemption if the property is occupied and one of these criteria apply:

Property is a student hall of residence

The property must be predominantly for students, and either:

  • owned or managed by a recognised educational establishment
  • owned or managed by a charitable body
  • the majority of the residents are students

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching a letter from the college/university confirming their ownership or management.

Property is occupied by students, their dependents, school/ college leavers, or foreign language assistants ONLY

Please look under 'students' in the section above called ‘People who don’t count for Council Tax’, for details of how to apply.

Armed forces accommodation (UK) 

The property must be owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and provided as living accommodation for UK armed forces.

Please apply for this exemption by email

Visiting forces accommodation 

A person is resident who would otherwise be liable and has a ‘relevant association’ with a visiting force from a country to which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies.

Please apply for this exemption by email, attaching a certificate issued under Section 11 of the Visiting Forces Act 1952.

Property is occupied by people under 18 ONLY 

Liability for Council Tax starts at age 18. The property must be occupied by persons under the age of 18 only.

Property is occupied by severely mentally impaired people ONLY

Please see the section above called ‘People who don’t count for Council Tax’ for details of how to apply.

Please note, the property is not exempt if you’re the landlord of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) as you are responsible for Council Tax, not your tenants.

Property is the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity 

Please see the section above called ‘People who don’t count for Council Tax’ for details of how to apply.

Property is an annexe

The annexe forms part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling. It's the sole or main residence of a dependent relative of a person who is resident in that other dwelling/s.

A dependent relative is either a person age 65 or more, a person who is severely mentally impaired, or a person who is substantially and permanently disabled.

Please apply for this exemption by email.

Occupied by person of diplomatic privilege or immunity

The property is the main residence in the UK of a liable person who has diplomatic, commonwealth or consular privileges and immunities.

This person must not be a:

  • British subject
  • British Citizen
  • British Dependent territories citizen
  • British national overseas
  • British Overseas Citizen
  • British protected person
  • permanent resident of the United Kingdom

The person must not have another residence in the UK.

When you apply, please provide: written confirmation of diplomatic status from the embassy. It must state what class of diplomat the person is.