Discounts and Reductions

Council Tax discounts and reductions

Below is information on who doesn't have to pay council tax or is entitled to a discount, property exemptions from council tax, or information on council tax relating to disabilities.

Who is exempt from paying Council Tax?


You may not have to pay Council Tax if you're:

  • 18 or 19 years old and in education on 30 April
  • an apprentice
  • an apprenticeship trainee under 25
  • a carer of someone other than your partner or children under 18
  • employed as a resident care worker
  • in prison for something other than not paying your Council Tax
  • living in a hostel
  • a long term patient living in hospital
  • a member or dependant of visiting forces
  • a member or dependant of International Headquarters or Defence Organisations
  • a member of a religious community, such as a monk or nun
  • the partner or dependants of foreign students
  • under 18 years old

For more information contact our Council tax team.

Who is entitled to a Council Tax discount?


You can use our online form to apply for a discount if:

  • you're the only occupant of a property over the age of 18, and the property is your sole or main residence
  • you're a student
  • you're a carer of someone who is not your spouse, partner, civil partner or living together as husband and wife, nor the parent if the person receiving care is below the age of 18
  • you're living in a nursing home
  • you, or anyone living at your property, is disabled

Apply for a discount

Removing your single persons discount

You can tell us if you've had someone move in that is over the age of 18 through our online form.

Remove your discount

If you receive Housing Benefit and need to tell us of a change, you'll need to complete a different form.

Change your benefits




If your home has been adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person then you may be able to get a reduction.

You can get a reduction if your home has one or more of these facilities:

  • a room, other than a bathroom, a kitchen or toilet, which is mainly used by and required for meeting the needs of the disabled person
  • a second bathroom or kitchen required for meeting the needs of the disabled person
  • sufficient floor space to permit the use of a wheelchair which is used indoors.

The discounted reduction you get will be equal to one band lower than the actual band of your home.

For example, if your property is in Band D, you will pay Band C.

If applicable, the reduction will be applied from the date the application is made.

To apply complete our application form.

Apply for a discount

Severe Mental Impairment

Severe mental impairment discount can be a full exemption if all occupiers of the property meet the criteria for this discount.

If there are two adults residing in the property and one meets the criteria for the Severe Mental Impairment Discount then you can get a 25% reduction.

To apply for this please complete our paper application form.

Discounts and Exemptions


Second Homes

A 50% discount is available, in some cases, where a home has to be left empty, but furnished, because the owner is required to live elsewhere as a condition of their employment. The property they will be moving to must be supplied by the employer. The second home must be in England, Wales or Scotland and they must be liable for the council tax.

For example, a serving member of the armed forces who has to leave his home empty while he must live in military accommodation elsewhere in the country.

Unoccupied properties owned by a charity

An unoccupied property owned by a charity may not have to pay Council Tax for up to six months from the last day it was occupied.

You may be entitled to the exemption if the property:

  • is unoccupied and has been for less than 6 months
  • is owned by a charity or charitable organisation
  • was last used for the purpose of a charity or charitable organisation

To apply please complete our Unoccupied Properties Owned by a Charity Exemption Application Form.

Apprentice Discount

If you're an apprentice that earns under £195 per week you may be entitled to a discount.

The application should be completed by the apprentice and their employer.

We will need to see evidence of apprentices salary.

Apply for an apprentice discount


An empty property may be exempt from council tax if:

  • it was the main place of residence of someone in prison, unless it was for not paying council tax
  • it was previously occupied by someone living in an independent non NHS hospital, care home, or hostel where they'd received care or treatment
  • the property's council tax payer has died
  • you can't legally live in the property
  • the property is reserved for a minister of religion
  • the owner used to live mainly in the property but is now living primarily in another property to provide or receive care
  • a mortgagee is in possession of the property
  • the owner is the trustee of a bankrupt person
  • the property is part of a larger home and is not let separately, for example a granny annex

A property may also be exempt if:

  • it's owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and held for housing armed forces
  • it's occupied by visiting forces from specific countries under Part One of the Visiting Forces Act
  • it's joined to another property which houses a dependent relative (aged 65 years or over)

There are no discounts for empty properties which are left furnished or unfurnished.

For more information contact our Council tax team.

Single person discount review


Why is this happening?

All households in Maidstone claiming a single person’s discount of 25% on their Council Tax are currently being checked for their authenticity. This is part of an on - going review to validate legitimate single person discount claims and identify and remove those being claimed in error or fraudulently.

A 25% discount is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own. Approximately 21,000 people in the area claim this discount.

Checks are being carried out to see whether people are genuinely living alone, by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household such as, but not limited to, the electoral - roll registers and financial sector information.

Any persons failing to respond to requests for further information in relation to their claim will have the claim withdrawn from the beginning of the current financial year or from the date the discount was applied within the current financial year. If, during the review process, checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will be withdrawn, and a penalty may be applied for failing to notify a change in circumstances.

If you receive a review from the compliance team please complete it and return it to them. If you need any help completing the form or any further information please contact the Compliance team.

Why have I been sent a letter?

We’re reviewing all of our single person discount awards. In doing so, we are using information that we hold on our Council Tax records and data from credit reference agencies. This data can provide an indication of who may be living at an address. We are still writing to all customers as this information may not be reliable. This may be due to:

  • customers not informing us of changes in the number of people living at an address
  • a previous occupant still having credit activity or correspondence at your address
  • a customer using variations of their name for example the use of middle names
  • the data supplier having incorrect information relating to the property.

We’re writing to customers so that we can make sure the information that we hold is correct and that discount are awarded to those people who are entitled.

Can the Council access data about me?

Under the Data Protection Act, we are able to use data held by credit reference agencies to investigate Single person discount claims. Your data remains secure and is only used for the review.

What is the purpose of the Single Person Discount review and why do I need to respond?

The purpose of the review is to make sure that the single person discounts we have awarded are valid and that our information is up to date. We have an obligation to make sure that discounts are awarded to those who are entitled and that we remove those which are not valid.

What are credit reference agencies?

Credit reference agencies are companies that compile information from a number of different sources.

They provide this information in the form of credit reports which helps decide whether to grant an application for a loan, credit card, or provide another financial product. Both local and central Government also have access to the information in some circumstances, particularly to identify and combat fraud.

There are three major credit reference agencies in the UK:

  • Experian
  • Callcredit
  • Equifax