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Discounts and Disregards

This page explains the discounts and disregards that are available to certain types of residents.

Students

You don’t have to include students when calculating the number of residents at a property. Once students are discounted, you may be eligible for a discount if this leaves one, or no adults at the property. To qualify as a student (for the purposes of council tax reduction) you must be either of the following: 

  • Undertaking a full-time course of higher education with a prescribed educational establishment. The course must last at least one year and involve at least an average of 21 hours per week for at least 24 weeks in the year.
  • Under 20 years of age and undertaking a course which lasts more than three calendar months and involves at least 12 hours per week.

You will also need to provide a council tax certificate issues by your college or university. Please note that a certificate of enrolment or a notification of grant award letter is not acceptable. The educational establishment must be in a member state of the European Union and established solely or mainly for the purpose of providing further or higher education.

Discounts are available if any of the following apply:

  • If all residents are students you won't have to pay council tax.
  • If all but one resident is a student then there will be a 25 per cent discount for the household.
  • If the property is owned by a student and was last occupied by that student then there will be no council tax to pay.

Apprentices

You don’t have to include apprentices when calculating the number of residents living at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply. You qualify as an apprentice if you meet any of the following criteria: 

  • Employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation.
  • For that purpose, undertaking a programme of training leading to a qualification accredited by the National Council for Vocational Qualification or the Scottish Vocational Education Council.
  • Employed for a total salary or allowance (or both) substantially less than the salary they would be likely to receive if they had achieved the qualification in question and no more than £196 per week.

Youth trainees

You don’t have to include youth trainees when calculating the number of residents living at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply. You qualify as a youth trainee if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Under the age of 25 years.
  • Training under a youth training arrangement.

18-year-olds eligible for child benefit

You don’t have to include anyone who is over 18 years old and is entitled to child benefit being claimed for them when calculating the number of residents living at a property. You qualify for this disregard if you meet the following criteria: 

  • The person must have reached the age of 18 years.
  • Another person must be entitled to claim child benefit for them.

School leavers

You don’t have to include school leavers when calculating how many residents live at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply. You qualify as a school leaver if you meet any of the following criteria: 

  • Be under the age of 20 years.
  • Have finished a qualifying course of education within the period after 30 April and before 1 November in the year to which the application relates.

Where both of the above apply, the person will be disregarded for council tax purposes until 1 November of the same year.

Prisoners

You don’t have to include people who are prisoners in detention when calculating how many residents live at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply.

Detention for non-payment of fines or council tax is not a valid reason for claiming this reduction.

Severely mentally impaired people (SMI)

You don’t have to include severely mentally impaired people when calculating how many residents live at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply. You qualify as severely mentally impaired for this purpose if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Confirmed as severely mentally impaired by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Entitled to one of a number of certain qualifying benefits.

Please apply for an SMI disregard using our form.

Carers

Home carers or care workers can also be eligible for a disregard.

Home carers

A home carer is someone who:

  • lives with the person they care for;
  • provides care for an average of at least 35 hours a week;
  • is not caring for their husband, wife, or partner;
  • is not a parent caring for a child under 18.

The person cared for must be receiving one of these relevant benefits:

  • higher or lower rate of Attendance Allowance
  • higher or middle rate of care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • an increase in the rate of Disablement Pension or an increase in Constant Attendance Allowance

You will need to provide proof with your application that the person cared for is receiving one of the benefits shown above.

Care workers

A care worker is someone who:

  • provides care or support on behalf of a 'relevant body' or was introduced to and is employed by the person they care for by a 'relevant body'. A relevant body is a local authority, central government or a charity;
  • is employed to provide this care for at least 24 hours a week;
  • is paid £44 or less per week and lives in the property provided​.

Long-term in-patients and care home residents

You don’t have to include someone who is in hospital as a long-term in-patient or who lives in a care home, when calculating how many people live at a property. If this leaves one, or no other residents, then a discount can apply. You qualify for this discount if the person meets the following criteria: 

  • Their sole or main residence in a residential care home, a nursing home, a mental nursing home, a hostel or a hospital. The term 'sole' or 'main' residence is not defined in council tax legislation, although case law on the subject suggests that temporary absence from home does not constitute a change of residency.
  • Be receiving care or treatment.

To apply for any of these discounts please complete the discount form.

If your circumstances change

If your circumstances change in a way which affects your entitlement to receive a discount or exemption, please complete the relevant form immediately.

Landlords can notify us of change in council tax tenancy.

Find out further information on other discounts.