Difficulty paying your Council Tax
You can apply online for Council Tax Support. You can also spread your payments until March next year.
While you are waiting to see if your application for a reduction or exemption has been successful please continue to pay the instalments shown on your original bill until your account is updated and the new bill arrives.
- The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling. If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by a quarter (25%) -
- If a dwelling is no-ones main home, from 1st April 2013 there will be no reduction in the liability, which means that the liability for these scenarios will be 100%. This applies to unoccupied furnished dwellings and furnished pdf second homes (219 KB) .
- A property that has been empty for a period of up to six months since the last occupation date (as long as it remains empty and unfurnished), can receive a discount of 50% for up to two months, after which a 100% charge applies. pdf Apply for an unoccupied and substantially unfurnished discount (227 KB) .
- Newly built properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for 3 months, after which a 100% charge applies.
From 1st April 2013, unoccupied and unfurnished properties in need of or undergoing major repair work to render them habitable or undergoing structural alteration can now claim a 100% discount for a maximum period of 12 months, instead of an exemption. After 12 months a 100% charge applies.
pdf Apply for a dwellings requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration discount (259 KB)
- Some people are not included when counting the number of adult residents in a dwelling, providing they meet the following criteria.
- pdf full-time students (165 KB) , non-British spouses/dependents of students, pdf student nurses (165 KB) , pdf apprentices and Youth Training trainees (252 KB)
- patients permanently resident in hospital
- people who are being looked after in care homes
- people who are pdf severely mentally impaired (162 KB)
- people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- pdf 18 and 19-year-olds (175 KB) who are at or have just left school
- care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- pdf people caring for someone (242 KB) with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
- members of visiting overseas forces and certain international institutions
- members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
- pdf people in prison (241 KB) (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
- diplomats and members of international organisations headquartered in the UK
Job-related Second Home Discount
If you are required to live elsewhere due to an employment contract you may be eligible for a discount.
If you live in and pay Council Tax for a property which your employer requires you to occupy, and you are liable for Council Tax on a second furnished property, you may qualify for a discount of 50%.
Who can qualify for this discount?
The job-related second home discount will apply to either;
- The job-related dwelling if it is the second home of you or your spouse/ civil partner i.e. not their main residence, or
- To another dwelling if the job-related dwelling is your main residence or your spouse/ civil partner and you have another dwelling that is therefore a second home.
One of the properties must fall into Class A, B or C shown below:
A: The property is provided to you, or to your spouse/civil partner, because of your employment and it is necessary for the proper performance of duties (as stated in your employment contract) i.e. tied accommodation.
B: The property is occupied as a residence from which you, or your spouse/civil partner, perform the duties of a Minister of any religious denomination.
C: You are in the armed forces and have your main residence in the UK in Ministry of Defence accommodation which is exempt from Council Tax under Class O.
This discount is not applicable:
- If you have a second property in the locality of your place of work but you do not perform the duties of your employment from that address. There must be a direct link between your work and the property, such as caretaker, landlord of the pub, schoolmaster
- unless both your addresses are in England, Wales or Scotland
- If you are not the liable person for council tax at both properties (unless the property is provided by the ministry of defence or for a minister of religion to perform his duties)
- If you are a director or a partner in the company providing the accommodation (unless you are a full time working director/partner or the company is non-profit making or charitable)
How do I apply for Council Tax Second Home Discount?
pdf Council Tax Second Home Discount application form (219 KB)
If you think you may be entitled to a discount, and this is not shown on your bill you should contact us. If your bill shows that an exemption or discount has been allowed and your circumstances have changed please let us know straight away.
If you don't you could be liable to pay a penalty of £70. If you continue to fail to provide the correct information you may be liable to pay a further penalty of £200.
If you would like to apply for a discount on your Council Tax bill please complete a Discount Application Form.
Long term empty premium
From 1 April 2013 all properties (apart from some unoccupied annexes or job-related Ministry of Defence accommodation) that had been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years were liable to pay 150% council tax. The 2 years can have started before 1 April 2013. If at 1 April 2013, the property had not been empty and unfurnished for 2 years, the charge was 100% until the 2 years expired, when it became a charge of 150%.
Following changes to legislation during 2018 the premium increased to 100% from 1 April 2019. This means that you are now liable to pay 200% from this date if your property has been empty & unfurnished for 2 years or more as of 1 April 2019.
From 1 April 2021, if a property has been empty & unfurnished for 5 years or more at 1 April 2021 the premium will increase to 200% and a 300% charge will apply and if a property has been empty and unfurnished for 10 years or more the premium will increase to 300% and a 400% charge will apply.
When deciding whether the premium should apply we may take into consideration the reasons why properties are unoccupied and unfurnished, including whether they are available for sale or rent.