You might be able to pay less council tax or not pay it at all depending on your circumstances.
You might be able to get:
You might get a discount automatically on your council tax bill. If you're not sure whether you're already getting a discount, check your bill or contact the council. You can find your council's contact details on GOV.UK.
If you're not getting a discount, you might still be entitled to one. It depends who lives in the property.
If you're the only adult in your home, you’ll get a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
When working out how many people live in a property, some people aren’t counted - they’re called ‘disregarded people’.
If everyone who lives in the property is disregarded there’s still a council tax bill, but it will have a 50% discount. If everyone in your home is a student or severely mentally impaired, you won't pay any council tax.
If you're entitled to a discount because someone has moved out, tell the council. You're entitled to the discount from when the person moved out, even if you told the council later.
Someone will be disregarded if they’re:
If they’re a school or college leaver aged 18 or 19 and they left after 30 April, they’ll be disregarded until 1 November.
Someone will be disregarded if they’re:
Someone might also be disregarded if they're related to a student and they aren't a British citizen themselves.
If they're related to a student, they'll only be disregarded if they:
Someone will be disregarded if they’re:
Someone will be disregarded for council tax if their condition is permanent - for example, they have dementia. They’ll need a doctor's certificate, which should be free. The certificate needs to say when their mental health condition started.
They must also be claiming one of the following benefits:
Some other people might also be disregarded - for example, some live-in care workers. Your local council will tell you if they’re disregarded when you apply.
Dan has learning disabilities and lives in a property with his carer. They’re both disregarded people. They’re entitled to a 50% discount on their council tax.
You might be able to get another discount called a 'second adult rebate’. The person you live with must be on a low income or getting certain benefits.
Your local council might give you a discount if you have another home you don't live in - for example, if it's not safe to live in or it's connected to your main home.
Your local council might offer a discount on your property if it’s empty for certain reasons - for example, it needs work to make it safe to live in.
If your property is empty and has little or no furniture, your local council might reduce your council tax. The council will tell you how long they'll reduce your council tax for.
If your property is empty because it needs major repairs or alterations to make it safe to live in, your local council might reduce your council tax. The council will tell you how long they'll reduce your council tax for.
Your local council can choose whether to give you a discount for an empty property. You’ll need to check your local council’s rules on their website.
If you have a holiday home or second home, you need to pay council tax on it. Some councils sometimes offer a 'second home discount' because no one lives there on a permanent basis. This discount might only be for a short time but could save you up to 50%. Contact the local council where your holiday home or second home is, and ask them if you can get a discount.
The council must give you a 50% discount if your second home is either:
An extra home that's connected to your home is called an 'annexe.'
Local councils give a 50% discount on an annexe within a main property if the annexe is used by people who live in the main property or by their immediate family members, including parents and teenagers.
You won't pay any council tax on the annexe if a dependant family member lives there. Your family member might be dependent if they’re aged 65 or over, or they have a physical or mental disability.
If your annexe is empty, you don’t need to pay council tax on it.
The council tax bill for the property might be reduced.
You must be able to show that a disabled person lives in the property to claim a reduction. The property must also have either:
The council will charge the rate for a lower council tax band instead. If the property is in band D, the council tax bill will be worked out as if it were in band C. This reduction also applies to dwellings in band A.
Ask your local council if you can get a ‘disabled person’s reduction’. You can find your council's contact details on GOV.UK.
Some local councils ask for extra evidence - for example, a doctor’s letter.
If you think you should get a discount and your bill doesn’t show you got one, you should apply to your local council for a discount as soon as possible. You can find your council's contact details on GOV.UK.
If your bill shows that your local council has applied a discount and you think you shouldn’t have had one, you must tell your local council within 21 days. If you don’t, your local council might send you a £70 penalty.
You can write to your local council and explain your complaint. They should get back to you within 2 months. If they don’t agree with you or they don’t reply within 2 months, you can appeal to a valuation tribunal.
If you’re on a low income you might be able to get your council tax reduced. If you get benefits or have other people living with you, this might affect how much your council tax is reduced by.
Your local council will ask you details about your income and your circumstances, so they can work out if you’re entitled to Council Tax Reduction (CTR). They will then work out your new bill and tell you how much council tax you need to pay.
If you have other people living with you who are aged 18 or over, you might all be responsible for paying council tax. Only one of you needs to apply for CTR.
If you're awarded CTR, you won't normally get an actual payment. The council will reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay.
You'll need to show that the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay - this is known as being ‘habitually resident’.
If you've recently returned to the UK after a period of living or working abroad you might have difficulty showing that you are habitually resident.
If you're from the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you can check if you have the right to reside for benefits. The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
If you’re subject to immigration control you need to check if you can access UK benefits and services.
Which rules apply usually depends on whether you’ve reached State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK .
If you’re under State Pension age, the ‘working age rules’ apply.
If you've reached State Pension age, it depends if you or your partner get certain benefits.
The working age rules still apply if you've reached State Pension age and you or your partner get:
If you've reached State Pension age and don't get any of these benefits, the 'pension age rules' apply.
Your local council can make its own rules about who’s entitled to CTR and how much you’ll get.
You’ll need to check with your local council to find out if you’re entitled to CTR. It's likely that you’ll have to pay something towards your council tax bill.
Your local council will need to work out your income to see if you’re entitled to CTR and how much CTR you might get. If you have a partner, the council will also include their income.
You'll also need to have less than £16,000 in savings and property - this is called 'capital'.
You can get CTR with more than £16,000 in savings and property if you get the guarantee part of Pension Credit.
If you own capital jointly with someone else who isn't your partner, you’ll usually be treated as owning half. For example, if you have a joint savings account with your son worth £16,000, you’ll be treated as having savings of £8,000.
If you share the account with your partner, you’ll be treated as having savings of £16,000.
If another adult lives with you the council might reduce how much CTR you get. This is because some adults are expected to pay towards your household bills.
The council won't reduce how much CTR you get if the other adult is your partner, or if they're also responsible for paying council tax.
You can find out about applying for CTR.
If you’re not able to get CTR, you might be able to apply for another discount called ‘second adult rebate’.
Your local council can still reduce your council tax bill or cancel it altogether, this is called ‘discretionary reduction’. They’ll normally only do this if you can show that you’re suffering severe hardship and can’t afford to pay council tax. If you’re in this situation you should ask your local council for help. You’ll need to show them evidence of your circumstances.
You might be able to appeal to a valuation tribunal. If the tribunal agree with you they can order your council to reduce or even cancel your council tax bill.
You can find out more about how to appeal.
You should use your local council's own complaints process first. You can find your council’s contact details on GOV.UK.
If you're not happy with the council's response you might be able to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
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