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Council Tax discounts, reductions and disregards

On this page you can find out if you are eligible for a discount, a reduction in the amount you pay, or if you or someone in your household can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.


Single person discount

If you are the only adult resident in your home you will be eligible for a 25 per cent discount, which should have been applied to your bill if we already know that you live alone.

Second homes and between lets

If your property is furnished and used as a second home or is between lets you will not be entitled to a discount unless the property is needed as part of your job.
If you have to live in a second property for your job, your main home is elsewhere and you pay Council Tax on your main home, you can claim a 50 per cent discount on the second property.
If you think you qualify for this discount, you should complete our contact form​ or telephone us on 020 8430 2000.

Empty and unfurnished property

If you own or rent a property which becomes empty and unfurnished, you can apply for a 100 per cent discount for one month from the date it first became empty and unfurnished. If the property remains empty and unfurnished after a month, the full Council Tax becomes due, and you will have to pay the full charge.
You can find out more from our policy on empty and unfurnished properties (PDF)If you buy or rent a property which has already received a 100 per cent discount for one month, you will be liable to pay the full Council Tax. This applies from the first day you take ownership or rent the property, even if the property is still empty and unfurnished on that day.
If you think you qualify for this discount, you should complete our contact form or telephone us on 020 8430 2000.

Discount for an annexe

By ‘annexe’ we mean a dwelling in a larger property that includes a main dwelling. There is a 50% discount for an annexe:

  • used by a resident of the main dwelling as part of their sole or main residence, or
  • used by a relative of the person liable for Council Tax on the main dwelling as their sole or main residence.

The 50% discount applies after deducting any other discounts or disregards that may apply.



Council Tax Reduction

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your Council Tax.
Find out about Council Tax Reduction

Disabled band reduction scheme

Your Council Tax can be reduced by one band if at least one of the residents (whether child or adult) in your home is substantially and permanently disabled. You may also be able to get a reduction if your home is in Band A.
In order to qualify, you must have at least one of the following in your home:
  • a room set aside to provide specific equipment for the disabled person
  • an extra bathroom, kitchen for the disabled person 
  • a wheelchair used indoors by the disabled person.
Call us on 020 8430 2000 and ask for a claim form to apply for the disabled band reduction scheme.
People who are severely mentally impaired and some live-in carers are disregarded (not counted) when we work out Council Tax.
Your property may also be exempt from Council Tax.

Discretionary Council Tax Reduction

In some circumstances we can further reduce the amount of Council Tax you owe. This is on top of Council Tax Reduction and other discounts.
Section three of the policy includes details of what you need to do to apply. If you think you qualify for the reduction, send your written application to:
Council Tax and Benefits Service
PO Box 23504
E15 4UU

Disregarded people

When working out how many people live in a property, we do not count some people. These are called disregarded people. This means that they are not liable for Council Tax.
A person may be disregarded if they are:
  • aged under 18
  • a prisoner, someone in detention awaiting deportation or detained under mental health legislation
  • severely mentally impaired
  • a full-time student in higher or further education studying for more than 21 hours a week and more than 24 weeks a year. The course must last for at least one academic or calendar year at a prescribed educational establishment
  • a spouse, civil partner or a dependant of a student who is a non-British citizen and you are prevented by immigration from taking paid employment or from claiming benefit in the UK. 
  • a foreign language assistant on the official British Council programme
  • a young person on a government training scheme or following some types of apprenticeship
  • a long-term hospital patient or care home resident
  • living in a hostel which provides care or treatment because of your old age, physical or mental disability, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental illness
  • living in a bail or probation hostel
  • a live-in care worker
  • staying in a hostel or night shelter because you are homeless
  • a school or college leaver aged under 20 and you have left school or college after 30 April. You will be disregarded until 1 November of the same year whether or not you take up employment
  • aged 18 and someone is entitled to child benefit for you
  • a member of a religious community
  • a member of visiting armed forces. Your dependants are also disregarded.
If everyone who lives in the property is disregarded you will have to pay Council Tax but you will get a 50 per cent discount on your bill.
If you think you or someone in your household qualifies to be disregarded for Council Tax, you should complete our contact form or telephone us on 020 8430 2000.

Students and apprentices

Your or someone in your household may be disregarded for Council Tax if you or they are:
  • a full-time student
  • a student nurse
  • on a government training scheme or apprenticeship
  • the spouse, civil partner or dependent of a student who is not a British citizen.
If you are a student and you live in halls of residence you do not need to apply for a student disregard. Your university is responsible for telling us that only students live in this accommodation.
If everyone in your household is a full-time student, your home may be exempt from Council Tax.
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Related pages

Contact us

  • Council Tax and Benefits Service
    PO Box 23504
    E15 4UU
    Contact us form

    020 8430 2000