Open Access Council Tax enables you to notify us if you are moving house, change your payment method or date and apply for exemptions, disregards and refunds on-line.
Discounts, exemptions and reductions
A full council tax bill assumes that there are at least two people over 18 living in a property. However, there are instances where you may be entitled to a council tax discount:
If only one adult has their main residence in the property, your bill is reduced by 25 per cent.
If your property is empty and unfurnished you may be exempt for up to 4 weeks.
It is possible to qualify for a discount where there are two or more adult residents.
Disregarded adults are classified as follows:
full time students; student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees; patients resident in hospital; people who are being looked after in care homes; people who are mentally impaired, people staying in certain hostels or night shelters; 18 and 19 year olds who are at or who have just left school after completing a qualifying course of education; care-workers working for low pay (usually for charities); people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18; or people in prison (except those in prison for the non-payment of council tax or fines).
If you think you may be entitled to a discount, but it is not shown on your bill, please contact us.
If you do receive a discount, but your circumstances change, you must tell us as this may affect your entitlement. If you do not inform us of any changes you may have to pay a penalty.
Single Person Discount
If you are the only person aged 18 or over living in your home you can apply for a 25% reduction in your council tax.
In addition to the discounts there are types of property that may be made fully exempt from council tax. The exemptions listed below are brief summaries only. If you wish to find out more about any class of exemption please contact the council tax office.
Classes of Exemption
B = Unoccupied premises owned by a Charity
C = Unfurnished and unoccupied for a maximum of 4 weeks
D = Unoccupied home of a person in detention
E = The home of someone now living in a Nursing/Care Home
F = The home of someone who has died
G = Occupation is prohibited by law
H = Empty property to be used by a Minister of Religion
I = Left empty by someone who is living elsewhere to receive care
J = Left empty by someone who is living elsewhere to provide care
K = Was previously occupied only by students
L = A re-possessed property
M = A Hall of Residence
N = Occupied only by Students
O = Armed Forces accommodation
P = Occupied by Visiting Forces
Q = In possession of a Trustee in Bankruptcy
R = An empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
S = Occupied only by people under 18
T = Empty property, part of another property, where it cannot be let separately to the main part of the property
U = Occupied only by people who are classed as severely mentally impaired
V = Where one of the occupants is entitled to diplomatic privileges
W = A 'Granny Annexe'
If you believe you may be entitled to any of the exemptions listed above, please contact us.
If the property is furnished but not occupied no discount will apply. You do not have to pay council tax if the property has been unfurnished and unoccupied for less than four weeks.
Properties that have been empty for more than 2 years and are not exempt will attract an additional council tax premium of 50%. This means that the council tax charge for such properties will be equivalent to 1.5 times that of an occupied property.
Band Reduction / Disability Reduction
If you or someone who lives with you is disabled, you may qualify for a council tax reduction. This means that if you are eligible, you will pay one band lower than the current band for your property.
You are eligible for this reduction if the property meets certain conditions:
a disabled person is living in the property; the property contains a room (other than a kitchen, bathroom or toilet) which is predominantly used by and meets the needs of the disabled person; the property contains an additional kitchen or bathroom which is needed to meet the needs of the disabled person; or there is sufficient floor space in the property to accommodate a wheelchair and the disabled person needs to use a wheelchair in the property.
Please contact us for further information.
Download an Application for Reduction for People with a Disability (PDF File, 79kb)
The Gov.UK website has a comprehensive guide to council tax which includes further information about discounts and exemptions.