The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a dwelling.  If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by a quarter (25%).

If a dwelling is no-ones main home, from 1st April 2013 there will be no reduction in the liability which means that the liability for these scenarios will be 100%. This applies to unoccupied furnished dwellings and furnished second homes.

A property that has been empty for a period of up to six months since the last occupation date (as long as it remains empty and unfurnished) can receive a discount of 50% for up to six months, after which a 100% charge applies.

Newly built properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for 3 months, after which they will be liable for a 50% charge for the next 3 months, and then on expiry of that, a full charge.

From 1st April 2013, unoccupied and unfurnished properties in need of or undergoing major repair work to render them habitable or undergoing structural alteration, can now claim a 100% discount for a maximum period of 12 months, instead of an exemption. After 12 months a 100% charge applies.

Some people are not included when counting the number of adult residents in a dwelling, providing they meet the following conditions:

  • full-time students, non-British spouses/dependants of students
  • student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees
  • patients permanently resident in hospital
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
  • careworkers 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 overseas 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)
  • diplomats and members of international organisations headquartered in the UK

Job Related Second Home Discount

If you are required to live elsewhere due to an employment contract you may be eligible for a discount.

If you live in, and pay Council Tax for a property which your employer requires you to occupy, and you are liable for Council Tax on a second furnished property, you may qualify for a discount of 50%.

Who can qualify for this discount?

The job related second home discount will apply to either;

  • The job related dwelling if it is the second home of you or your spouse/ civil partner i.e. not their main residence, or
  • To another dwelling if the job related dwelling is your main residence or your spouse/ civil partner and you have another dwelling that is therefore a second home.

One of the properties must fall into Class A, B or C shown below:

A - The property is provided to you, or to your spouse/civil partner, because of your employment and it is necessary for proper performance of duties (as stated in your employment contract) i.e. tied accommodation.

B - The property is occupied as a residence from which you, or your spouse/civil partner, perform the duties of a Minister of any religious denomination.

C - You are in the armed forces and have your main residence in the UK in Ministry of Defence accommodation which is exempt from Council Tax under Class O.

This discount is not applicable:

  • if you have a second property in the locality of your place of work but you do not perform the duties of your employment from that address. There must be a direct link between your work and the property, such as caretaker, landlord of pub, schoolmaster
  • unless both your addresses are in England, Wales or Scotland 
  • If you are not the liable person for council tax at both properties (unless the property is provided by the ministry of defence or for a minister of religion to perform his duties)
  • if you are a director or a partner in the company providing the accommodation (unless you are a full time working director/partner or the company is non-profit making or charitable)

How do I apply?

Application for Council Tax second home discount (PDF)

If you think you may be entitled to a discount, and this is not shown on your bill you should contact us.  If your bill shows that an exemption or discount has been allowed and your circumstances have changed please let us know straight away.

If you don't you could be liable to pay a penalty of £70.  If you continue to fail to provide the correct information you may be liable to pay a further penalty of £200.

If you would like to apply for a discount on your Council Tax bill please contact us.