Council Tax discounts

Last Updated: 30 July 2021

There are different types of Council Tax discounts, it is important that you check which one you may be eligible for before contacting us. If you are unhappy with a Council Tax discount decision there is an option to appeal.

Apply for a Council Tax discount

Contact our Council Tax team to apply for a discount. Please read the guidance below which outlines circumstances where a discount may apply.

Please quote your Council Tax reference and confirm which discount you would like to apply for, including how you meet the criteria. We may need to issue a detailed application form and conduct a visit.

Inform us of a change of circumstances that affects a discount

Appeal a Council Tax discount decision

If you are having issues paying your bills refer to our financial hardship help, advice and support.

Properties undergoing structural alteration/major repair

This scheme ends on 31 March 2021 and there is no longer any discount where a property requires or is undergoing structural alteration or major repair to render it habitable.

If the property is a derelict of poor state of repair then you may wish to contact the Valuation Office Agency to lodge a proposal to request the property be removed from the Council Tax Valuation List. Further information is available: Council Tax: domestic properties which are in disrepair or are derelict.

Empty properties

From 1 April 2021 properties which become unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for the first 3 months. (Prior to 1 April 2021 the 100% discount period was 6 months).

This is a property based discount and it commences from when the property first became unoccupied and unfurnished, irrespective or any changes of ownership or tenants.

Council Tax discount for annexes

From 1 April 2014 a discount of 50% has been introduced for annexes which are:

  • occupied by a relative of the person liable to pay the Council Tax for the main dwelling
  • unoccupied, provided it is being used as part of the main residence of the person liable to pay Council Tax for the main dwelling

Council Tax discount for job-related accommodation

A 50% discount is available to individuals who live in 'job-related dwellings' but who are liable for Council Tax on another property as their main residence.

Single person discount

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults who are 18 or over living in the property. If only one adult lives there as their main home, the bill may be reduced by 25%.

Council Tax discount for certain occupants

Some occupants are not counted towards the number of adult residents in a dwelling if they meet certain conditions.

They could qualify a discount as follows:

25%: there is only one resident in the property
25%: there is more than one resident but only one is counted for discount purposes
50%: there is more than one resident but no one is counted for discount purposes
50%: there is one resident who is not counted for discount purposes

Council Tax discount for people with a severe mental impairment

People with severe mental impairment are not counted when looking at the number of adult residents in a dwelling if they meet certain conditions, including being in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • an increase in Disablement Pension
  • Unemployability Supplement
  • Constant Attendance Allowance payable under the industrial injuries or war pension schemes
  • Unemployability Allowance payable under the industrial injuries or war pension schemes
  • Income Support, which includes a disability premium because of incapacity for work
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - standard and enhanced rate of the daily living component
  • Universal Credit which includes an amount in respect of the fact that the person has limited capability for work or work related activity

And by having this stated on a certificate from a registered medical practitioner.

Disabled reduction

Your bill may be reduced if a permanently disabled person (whether an adult or child) lives in the dwelling. Your dwelling must have certain features which are essential or of major importance to the wellbeing of the disabled person.

These features are:

  • a room other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which is used mainly by the disabled person
  • an additional bathroom or kitchen for the use of the disabled person
  • extra space inside the dwelling for the use of a wheelchair

When considering whether a reduction should apply, we have to decide whether the person with the disability would find it impossible or extremely difficult to live in the dwelling, or whether their health would suffer, or the disability become more severe, if the extra feature were not available in the dwelling.

To qualify for a reduction, the extra room does not need to be specially built, but can be an existing room used specifically for the person with the disability.

If your home is eligible, your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the valuation band immediately below the band shown on the valuation list. For example, if your home is in band D, your bill will be reduced to that for a band C dwelling.

If your home is in band A (the lowest Council Tax band) a reduction of 1/9 of the band D Council Tax would apply.

Council Tax discount for care workers

Care workers are disregarded when counting the number of adult residents if they are:

  • working for low pay (not more than £44 per week), usually for charities and providing care for at least 24 hours a week
  • caring for someone in their home with a disability who is not their spouse, partner or child under 18. They must provide care for at least 35 hours a week and the person they are caring for must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Attendance Allowance
    • highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
    • an increase in constant attendance allowance under the industrial injuries or war pension scheme
    • highest rate of constant attendance allowance payable on top of full rate disablement benefit paid for an industrial injury
    • the standard and enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP

Other occupants who qualify for a discount

Certain people are also not counted when looking at the number of adult residents in a dwelling, if they meet certain conditions:

  • school or college leavers who are under the age of 20 and left school or college on or after 1 May will be disregarded up to and including 31 October of the same year, or their 20th birthday, whichever comes first. 
  • apprentices employed for the purposes of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation, undertaking a programme of training leading to an accredited qualification. The salary must be no more than £195 per week before any deductions for income tax and national insurance
  • people who are a patient in hospital, which is their only or main home
  • people living in care homes (receiving care) as their only or main home
  • full-time student and student nurses. A full time course requires attendance for at least 24 weeks with at least 21 hours of study per week at a prescribed educational establishment
  • students under 20 on a qualifying course at or below the following standards:*
    • A level
    • higher Scottish certificate of education
    • national certificate of the Scottish vocational educational council
    • Scottish vocational qualification level 3
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • members of religious communities, for example monks and nuns
  • people in prison, except those in prison for non payment of Council Tax or fines

*The course must last for more than three calendar months with more than 12 hours of study per week. Tuition is usually carried out between 8am and 5.30pm.

Council Tax discount change in circumstances

If you have a Council Tax discount, you must notify us within 21 days if you think:

  • it should not have been given
  • it should have been less
  • there has been a change in circumstance that means the discount is wrong

Failure to do so could result in a penalty being imposed.

Contact our Council Tax team to inform us of a change in circumstances

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Council Tax Reduction scheme to help those on low income to pay their Council Tax