Discounts and exemptions
Discounts can apply in various circumstances such as:
- Where there is only one adult resident in a property, a 25% discount applies.
- If a furnished property is no-one's main residence, a 5% discount applies.
- Unfurnished and unoccupied properties may receive a discount of 50% for six months followed by a 10% discount until they have been empty for two years.
- Where a property has been unfurnished and unoccupied for two years or more, it will be charged at a rate of 150% council tax (unless you're in the Armed Forces, or the property is an annexe).
- Where another property is occupied as tied accommodation, a second home receives 50% discount.
- Chalets receive a 50% discount if they are only able to be occupied for part of the year.
- A 50% discount may be available for annexes in some limited circumstances.
Click on the links below to find out more about each discount and how to apply
Single occupier discount
If a property is occupied by only one adult who is counted for Council Tax as their main residence a 25% discount applies.
Empty property discount
Properties which are both unoccupied and unfurnished may receive a discount off the bill. Discounts vary dependant on the amount of time a property has been empty and unfurnished.
- Unoccupied and unfurnished for the first six months - 50% discount.
- Unoccupied and unfurnished for six months to two years - 10% discount.
- Unoccupied and unfurnished for two years or more - 150% charges are payable.
- The only exceptions are if you are in the armed forces or the property is an annexe.
Please note, the above rates apply to the property therefore relate to how long the property has been empty regardless of ownership (whether the property is bought and then sold when still empty.)
Discount if your property is uninhabitable
This type of discount is only available to unoccupied and unfurnished properties that are classed by the Council as uninhabitable. The property must meet one of the following two criteria to qualify :-
a) Requires or is undergoing major repair works to render it habitable; or
b) Is undergoing structural alteration that has not been substantially completed.
Please note: This discount does not usually apply where the only works being undertaken are kitchen or bathroom refurbishment.
The first 12 months - 75% of the full amount providing the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished
12 months to 2 years - 10% of the full amount
After 2 years - 150% of the full amount applies (unless you are in the Armed Forces or the property is an annexe.)
Student discounts and exemptions
People in full time education may be entitled to a student discount from the council tax bill of the property they live in.
There are three types of reduction which may apply if a property is occupied by a student.
A full exemption is awarded when a property is occupied wholly by one or more students. A separate application form should be completed for each student resident in the property.
If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50% discount may be awarded instead if all the adults of the property fall into one of the special categories for Council Tax. These special categories include students, student nurses, youth training trainees, apprentices, carers, 18 year olds for whom Child Benefit is payable and people who have an enduring mental illness.
A 25% discount is applicable when all the adults of the above property, except one, are students or fall into any other of the special categories mentioned above.
What about property left unoccupied by a student?
An exemption applies if a student leaves a property unoccupied where:
(a) it was last occupied by the student owner (or tenant) as their main residence; and,
(b) that owner (or tenant) has remained a student for the whole of the period since leaving the dwelling (or has become a student within 6 weeks of leaving).
When is a person classed as a student?
A person is regarded as a student for Council Tax purposes if one of the following applies to them:
- they are undertaking a full-time course of education - this applies to those attending a university or college course which lasts for at least an academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves an average of at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time. Please note that the hours of study must be more than the time taken by work experience, except for Initial Teacher Training courses
- they are undertaking a qualifying course of education - this applies to those people under the age of 20 studying for more than three months and at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard. It does not apply to correspondence courses, evening classes, or courses taken in connection with a person's job, such as day release
- they are a student nurse - this applies to student nurses studying academic courses at universities or colleges, or who are on a Project 2000 course, will be considered as students for Council Tax purposes
- they are a foreign language assistant - this applies to those people registered with the British Council
- they are a non-British partner of a student - this applies to a student's spouse or dependant being either case a person who is now a British Citizen and who is prevented, by the terms of his/her leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
In addition, school or college leavers aged 18 or 19 are still classed as students for Council tax purposes between the end of their course and the following 1st November, provided that they left the course after 30th April.
How do I apply?
You can print out a form to fill in and return to us or complete our easy to use online form. Both methods are available below.
Please note that a separate form should be completed for each student. It is also essential that a student certificate is sent with each completed student form (or separately if the form is completed online). Student certificates provide details of your course and they can be obtained free of charge from your college or other educational establishment which you attend.
What happens if I qualify?
If you qualify, the Council will send you a revised Council Tax bill. You are then legally obliged to inform the Council of any change of circumstances which may affect your discount/exemption. For example, you should notify the council if you leave your course early or another adult moves into your property.
Discount for a second home
If you own a property in Allerdale that is your second home you may be entitled for a discount of 5% from the amount of Council Tax you pay. Usually for (a) Second homes which are used by friends and family for occasional use. (b) Furnished lettings which are unoccupied pending a new tenant. (c) Furnished property with no residents.
There are certain circumstances which will determine your entitlement to the discount:-
- The property is furnished.
- The property is no-one's “Sole or Main Residence.”
- The applicant would be the owner and pays full Council Tax at another address.
Applications can either be sent via email to:email@example.com
or post to:
Allerdale Borough Council Allerdale House Workington CA14 3YJ
To speak to our Revenues Team please call 0303 123 1702.
When is a person classed as having an enduring mental illness?
For Council Tax purposes, a person is considered to suffer from an enduring mental illness if:
(a) he/she has severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent; and,
(b) a certificate is provided by a registered medical practitioner giving the date from which the person has been or was likely to have been suffering from an enduring mental illness; and,
(c) he/she is entitled to one of the following:
- Incapacity Benefit (or Employment and Support Allowance)
- Attendance Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- the care component of a Disability Living Allowance (payable at the middle or highest rate)
- Personal Independence Payment (at the standard or enhanced rate)
- increased Disablement Pension because constant attendance is needed
- Disability Working Allowance
- Unemployability Supplement
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Unemployability Allowance
- Income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium
- has lost one of the above due to reaching pensionable age
A full exemption is awarded when a property is occupied wholly by one or more persons who suffer from an enduring mental illness. A separate application form should be completed for each adult resident in the property.
If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50% discount may be awarded instead if all the adults of the property fall into one of the special categories for Council Tax. These special categories include people who have an enduring mental illness, carers, youth training trainees, apprentices, students, student nurses and 18 year olds for whom child benefit is payable.
A 25% discount is applicable when all the adults of a property, except one, either have an enduring mental illness or fall into any other of the special categories mentioned above.
How do I apply?
It is easiest to apply using the online form below. You can also download forms and send them to us at the address shown.
Discounts for apprentices
If one or more of the occupants of a property is an apprentice, a 25% discount may apply because he/she is not counted as living there for Council Tax purposes.
The discount is 50% if all the occupants are apprentices.
No discount applies if two or more people other than the apprentice (or any other adults who are not counted) live in the property.
If a person is an apprentice what are the conditions for not being counted?
An apprentice is not counted for the purpose of Council Tax if he/she is on a particular day:
- 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 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; and
- employed at a salary or in receipt of an allowance or both, which are, in total no more than £195 (gross) per week.
Discounts for care home residents
The owner of a care home may be able to claim a discount if the only occupiers of the home are those people who receive care or treatment there.
This discount doesn't apply if anyone other than residents lives in the home e.g. the resident proprietor and any family.
If someone has moved permanently into a care home, leaving only one adult resident in their former address, then a 25% single person discount should be claimed in respect of that address.
To apply for care home discount please send the details of your request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Discounts for people in prison
A 25% discount is available where only one adult lives in a property, but also where the second or all other adults are detained in prison. This is because they are not counted for Council Tax purposes. If the only person who lives in a property has been detained in prison, an exemption applies.
What are the conditions for a prisoner not being counted?
A person is in detention and not counted for Council Tax purposes if one of the following applies:
a) he/she is detained in prison, hospital or any other place by the order of the court
b) he/she is detained under the Immigration Act and awaiting deportation
c) he/she is detained under the Mental Health Acts
d) he/she is imprisoned, detained or in custody under the Armed Forces Act
It should be noted that people who have been temporarily discharged are still treated as detained.
If, however, a person is detained for non-payment of the Council Tax or a fine they are not treated as detained.
Discounts for careworkers and care providers
If one or more of the occupants of a property provides care for someone else who lives there, a 25% discount may apply because he/she is classed as not counted for council tax purposes.
No discount applies if two or more people other than the carer (or anyone else who is not counted) live in the property.
To qualify for discount as a careworker - as opposed to a care provider in section ii) below - all of the following conditions must be satisfied:
a) The careworker must be caring through a connection with the Crown, a charity or a local authority
b) they must be employed as a careworker for at least 24 hours a week by the person who requires the care
c) they must be paid no more than £44 per week
d) they must be resident in premises where the care is given, or in premises which have been provided for the better performance of the work.
A person who is providing care may be disregarded for the purpose of Council Tax if they meet the following requirements:
(a) they are providing care to a person who has an entitlement to any of the following benefits:
an attendance allowance
the highest or middle rate of the care component of disability living allowance
a personal independence payment
an increase in the rate of his/her disablement pension
an increase in a constant attendance allowance.
(b) they are resident in the same dwelling as the person to whom they are providing care;
(c) they are providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average;
(d) they are not the partner of the person for whom care is provided, and are not the parent if that person is a child below the age of 18 years.
Discounts for school and college leavers
If one or more of the occupants of a property is a school or college leaver, a 25% discount may apply because he/she is classed as not counted for Council Tax purposes. The discount is 50% if all the occupants are school or college leavers.
No discount applies if two or more people other than the school or college leaver (or any other adults who are not counted) live in the property.
When are school and college leavers not counted?
A person is not counted for Council Tax purposes between the end of their course and the following 1st November if they are a school or college leaver aged 18 or 19, provided they left their course after 30th April.
It is important that the person ceased to take either:
- a qualifying course of education which requires at three months studying for at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A-level, ONC or OND standard; OR
- a full-time course of education at University or College which lasts for at least one academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves an average of at least 21 hours of study per week during term time.
To apply for this discount please send the full details of your request to email@example.com
Discount for visiting forces
Discount is available where members (and dependants) of visiitng forces are not liable for Council Tax but live with someone who would otherwise live alone at the property.
The discount is 25% or 50% depending on how many adults live in the property. This discount does not apply to a dependant if the dependant is a British citizen.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Discounts for members of religious communities
If one or more of the occupants of a property is a member of a religious community, a 25% discount may apply because he/she is classed as not counted for Council Tax purposes. The discount is 50% if all the occupants are members.
When are discounts granted in respect of religious communities?
A person is not counted for Council Tax discount purposes if he/she:
a) Is a member of a religious community the principal occupation of which consists of prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering, or any combination of these; and
b) Has no income or capital of his/her own (except a pension from previous employment) and is dependent on the community to provide for his/her material needs.
The owner of a dwelling occupied by a religious community is liable to pay the Council Tax.
Discounts for people with Diplomatic Privileges
Discounts are available in respect of any person who has diplomatic privileges or immunities, and who lives with someone who would otherwise live alone.
In order to qualify, the diplomat concerned must not be a British subject or be a permanent UK resident.
Discounts for Members of International Organisations
This discount relates to any person who is a member of an international headquarters or a defence organisation, and to a dependant of any such member.
For more information please contact email@example.com