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Council Tax discounts

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling.

When counting the number of people who live at an address, some people are disregarded (not counted). These are listed below. However, in order to disregard someone, you must complete and return an application form, along with any additional information or evidence required.  If you think you may qualify for a disregard discount, please contact the Local Taxation team. 

  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees

  • patients whose permanent, sole or main residence is in hospital or who are being looked after in care homes

  • people who are severely mentally impaired

  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters

  • 18 to 19 year olds who are at or have just left school

  • 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

  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions

  • members of religious communities (monks and nuns)

  • people in prison (except those in prison for non payment of Council Tax or a fine)

Discounts are awarded in various circumstances and the available percentages and discount reasons are shown below. Any discount is shown on the front of your bill.

  • 25% if there is only one person in the property

  • 25% if there is more than one person but only one is counted

  • 50% if there is more than one person but no one is counted

  • 50% if there is one person who is not counted

  • 50% if the property is furnished but cannot be occupied for at least 28 days in the year due to a planning condition

  • 50% if the property is furnished but the occupier has to live elsewhere in tied accommodation

  • 50% if the bill is for a boat mooring or a caravan pitch

  • 50% if the property is a beach hut or beach chalet in band A and  near a beach

  • 100% for properties which are unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of up to six months since the property became vacant (after six months you have to pay the full amount of Council Tax)

  • 100% Properties which require or are undergoing structural alteration or major repair works to render them habitable. This discount will apply for a maximum period of 12 months as long as the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished

  • 50% for an annexe which is lived in by a family member. It must be either be used by the resident(s) of the main property or occupied by a family member.

Please contact us if you think you may be entitled to a discount.

You must let us know within 21 days if your bill says you are given a discount and you think:

  • it should not have been given

  • it should have been less

  • there has been a change in circumstances that means the discount is wrong

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

This information is only a guide. Please contact us for more information.

Council Tax Premium

The policy guidelines for exception to the Council Tax Premium were agreed by the full Council 26 March 2013. A copy of the report and the application form can be downloaded below. The application form should be printed, completed and returned with supporting documentary evidence to the Local Taxation Team, South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal, LA9 4DQ.

Council Tax Premium policy guidelines for determining local exceptions (PDF/146KB/4 pages)

Apply for an exemption to the Council Tax Premium (PDF/31KB/2 pages)

Council Tax discount for people with disabilities

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 well being 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, the council 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 need not 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.

This will not, however, affect the value of your home or its banding on the valuation list. In this example, it would still be shown as band D on the valuation list.

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.

For more information please contact the Local Taxation Team.

You think our decision is wrong

If you have applied for a discount, and you have been advised that you are not entitled. If you think this is incorrect, you must first notify us in writing giving reasons why you are unhappy with the decision.

If you are still unhappy with our decision you can then appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service.

You should continue to pay your Council Tax bill while your appeal is outstanding.  Any overpayment will be refunded in full if your appeal is successful.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme, previously known as Council Tax Benefit

For more information on the reduction scheme, please refer to Council Tax Reduction Scheme.