Council Tax explanatory notes

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you needs a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, extra space for a wheelchair to be used indoors you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill. The bill may be reduced to that of a property below the band of your property. If your property is in band A, you may still be able to get reductions despite that band is the lowest band. These reductions ensure disabled people do not pay more tax because of space needed due to a disability.


A full Council Tax bill is based on at least two adults living in a home. If you count as an adult for Council Tax and live on your own, you’ll get 25% off your bill. To qualify for a single occupancy discount, the property has to be your sole or main residence.

If a property is empty and unfurnished and no-one is living there you will need to pay the full charge. Single occupancy discount does not apply to an empty property, there is no discount at all for an empty property. For properties which have been empty for more than 2 years and currently pay the full charge, a premium of 100% will be payable in addition to the standard Council Tax charge.

You may also get a discount if you live with people who don’t count as adults for Council Tax.

The following people do not count when deciding how many people live in your home:

  • Full time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees with an evidence
  • Non-British spouses of students
  • People living permanently in Care Homes or Hospitals
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People in hostels for the homeless or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school or college, or in respect of whom child benefit is payable
  • Care workers working for low pay for example charities
  • People caring for someone with a disability who is not their spouse, partner or child under 18
  • Members and dependants of International headquarters and Defence organisations
  • Members and Dependants of visiting forces
  • People with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Members of religious communities
  • People in prison unless this is for not paying Council Tax or a fine

Discounts for annexes

  • Annexes occupied by non-dependant relatives are subject to a 50% discount.
  • Annexes being used as part of the main residence are subject to a 50% discount

A discount is no longer given for a property that requires or is undergoing major repair work or is undergoing structural alteration.

Care leavers

View our Care leavers page.

Empty Property

Unoccupied properties no longer receive a discount from the date furniture is removed.

The Government considered changes to the amount levied to tackle the 200,000 empty homes in England and introduced those changes in the Rating (Property In Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018.

On 27 February 2019 the Council approved changes to the long term properties that are empty, and from:

  • 1 April 2019 – properties that have been empty for more than 2 years will attract 100 per cent premium instead of 50 per cent
  • 1 April 2020 – properties that have been empty for more than 5 years will attract 200 per cent premium
  • 1 April 2021 – properties that have been empty for more than 10 years will attract 300 per cent premium.

Exempt properties

Occupied properties are exempt in the following cases:

  • Halls of residence for students, dwellings occupied by students, school or college leavers or certain spouses or dependants of students
  • Armed UK forces accommodation
  • Members and dependants of visiting forces
  • Dwellings occupied only by persons under 18
  • Dwellings occupied by the severely mentally impaired
  • Dwellings which are the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Occupied annexes dependant relative

Unoccupied properties are exempt in the following cases:

  • Properties owned by charities and used for charitable purposes for a maximum period of 6 months in which case an application form needs to be completed for each property
  • Caravan pitches and moorings for boats
  • The person who was liable for the Council Tax has died
  • Occupation is prohibited by law
  • The dwelling is held for a minister of religion
  • Left unoccupied by a student
  • In possession of the mortgage
  • Left empty by a bankrupt
  • An unoccupied annex to an occupied dwelling, where the annex cannot be let separately without breach of planning
  • Left empty by a person living in a hospital, hostel or care home
  • Left empty by a person needing personal care
  • Left empty by a person providing personal care

The information provided gives a brief description of discounts and exemptions available. For full information, please our Discounts and Reductions page.

Changes in circumstances

Please contact us if your circumstances change. Someone leaving or joining your household or reaching their 18th birthday may affect any discounts you receive. You'll need to advise the council of any discount you think you may be entitled to.

If you do not tell us about changes, you may have to pay a penalty of £70.

If you've applied for Council Tax Support because you're on a low income and the amount you've been awarded does not meet your full Council Tax liability, you may be entitled to further assistance under Section 13A of the Council Tax regulations if you're experiencing exceptional hardship. You can have a look at the benefits provided on our benefits page.

Please also note that if you've applied for or are in receipt of Universal Credit and are liable for Council Tax you must make a separate application for Council Tax Support to the Council as it is not included within your Universal Credit award.

If you believe you're not liable for the Council Tax, or a discount should've been awarded, please contact us and we will review your case.

The council will advise you on how to appeal further if you're not satisfied with the outcome.

A detailed leaflet of how your Council Tax is calculated and how the Council Tax collected is distributed and spent can be found on our Council Tax page.

How to contact us

You can contact us by using our contact us process.

To receive your council tax bill electronically rather than a paper version, visit our Council Tax page and sign up for paperless bills.

How to pay

12 monthly payments

If you wish to pay your bill over 12 monthly instalments and don’t already do so, please contact us.

Direct Debit

If you'd like to set up a Direct Debit, you can pay on either the 7th or 27th of each month. please visit our Council Tax page

Via the bank – Lloyds TSB

Sort code: 30-00-00

Account number: 02390027.

Please quote your Council Tax account reference number.

Debit card/credit card

Please call the dedicated telephone number 01622 602544. This is a 24hr automated payment system.

Via the council’s website

Go to our Council Tax page

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