Discounts and exemptions

In this section

  1. Discounts
  2. Exemptions


You may not have to pay council tax in some situations. 

Type of exemption Who does it include? What do we need?
People in prison
  • includes people on remand
  • not people in prison for not paying their council tax or a fine
  • people detained for mental health reasons in a hospital or somewhere else as a result of a court order
  • people detained under immigration law
  • the address where they are detained
  • their prison number, if they have one
  • the date they were detained and the date they expect to be released, if known
People living in a hospital or care home
  • people who are long-term residents of hospitals or residents homes are not counted for council tax purposes
  • if they are the only occupier of their home and are otherwise liable for the council tax, they are exempt once they are in a hospital or care home long-term
  • the address of the hospital or care home
  • the date they first went into the home or hospital (such as the start of the assessment period for residential homes)
  • whether the stay in the hospital or home is permanent

Online application form

Homes left empty by someone who has died
  • exempt for up to six months after the date of probate, as long as the property hasn't been sold or passed to someone else in the will
  • the owner's date of death
  • the names and addresses of the executors or next of kin
  • the name and address of any solicitor dealing with the estate
  • the date of probate, if it has been granted

You can tell us more information by visiting this webpage

Student homes
  • properties occupied only by full-time students are exempt
  • full-time students are those whose course lasts for at least 24 weeks and they must study for at least 21 hours per week during term-time
  • 18 or 19-year-olds on a course of further (not higher) education, who must study for at least 12 hours per week during the day (evening classes don't count) and whose course lasts for at least three months
  • student nurses and midwives
  • foreign language assistants (such as those working in schools)
  • the names of all students living in the property
  • the name of the college or university they are studying at
  • the name of their course
  • their dates of birth
  • the start and end dates of their courses
  • a copy of a student certificate confirming these details by their college or university

Online application form

People with severe mental impairment
  • not counted for council tax purposes if they share a property with someone who is not severely mentally-impaired - they may be able to claim a discount
  • completely exempt if the property is only occupied by people with a severe mental impairment

To qualify, the qualifying person should be eligible to claim one or more of the following benefits:

  • severe disablement allowance
  • unemployability supplement
  • A disability working allowance
  • disability living allowance - higher or middle rate care component
  • attendance allowance
  • constant attendance allowance
  • incapacity benefit
  • income support (that includes a disability premium)
  • increased disablement pension for constant attendance
  • income support that includes a disability premium
  • unemployability allowance
  • personal independence payment – standard or higher rate of Daily living component
  • armed forces independence payment
  • The ‘limited capability for work’ or ‘the limited capability for work related elements’ of Universal Credit

We also need:

  • A doctors' certificate confirming the person is severely mentally-impaired and the date on which this started

Online application form

Occupation is forbidden by law
  • such as when a prohibition order has been issued
  • the name of the council department and officer (if relevant) that issued the order
  • a copy of the court order (if appropriate
Owner has gone away to study somewhere else, leaving the home empty
  • see the definition of a student, above
  • proof of student status at the address they have moved to

Online application form


Other exemptions which may apply:

  • empty and owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months) - this will happen automatically, but contact us if it hasn't
  • waiting to be occupied by a minister of a religion
  • left empty by someone receiving or providing personal care - online application form here
  • repossessed homes
  • student halls of residence
  • armed forces accommodation
  • occupied by visiting forces
  • held by a trustee in bankruptcy
  • unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • occupied only by people age under 18 - online application form here
  • unoccupied 'granny flat' or annexe
  • occupied by a diplomat
  • annexe occupied by a dependent relative


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