Council tax discounts, reductions and exemptions

People exempt – or disregarded – from paying council tax 

When calculating how many people live in a property, we do not count some people. These people are sometimes referred to as ‘disregarded’. This means that they are exempt from paying 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 who is 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 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 they are homeless 
  • a school or college leaver aged under 20 who has left school or college after 30 April. The leaver will be disregarded until 1 November of the same year whether or not they take up employment 
  • Aged 18 and someone is entitled to child benefit for them 
  • A member of a religious community 
  • A member of visiting armed forces. Their 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% 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

Students, apprentices and others disregarded for council tax   

You 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. 

This is known as a ‘student disregard’. You can apply for a student disregard online.

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 student accommodation. 

If everyone in your household is a full-time student, your home may be exempt from council tax