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Discounts and exemptions

Discounts can apply in certain circumstances:

  • Where there is only one adult resident in a property, a 25 per cent discount applies.
  • If a furnished property is no-one's main residence, a 5 per cent discount applies.
  • Unfurnished and unoccupied properties may receive a discount of 50 per cent for six months, followed by a 10 per cent discount until they have been empty for two years.
  • Where a property has been unfurnished and unoccupied for two years or more, a Long Term Empty Premium applies in addition to the normal bill (unless you are in the Armed Forces or the property is an annexe). This premium is currently 100 per cent but from April 2020 it will increase to 200 per cent if the property has been empty for five years or more and from April 2021 it will be 300 per cent if the property has been empty for 10 years or more.
  • Where another property is occupied as tied accommodation, a second home receives 50 per cent discount.
  • Chalets receive a 50 per cent discount if they are only able to be occupied for part of the year.
  • A 50 per cent discount may be available for annexes in some limited circumstances.

 

Some properties are exempt from council tax. You can find a list below.

Click on the links below to find out more and for details of 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 per cent discount applies.

Apply for single occupier discount

 

Empty property discount

Properties which are both unoccupied and unfurnished may receive a discount off the bill. Discounts vary dependent on the amount of time a property has been empty and unfurnished.  

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished for the first six months - 50 per cent discount.
  • Unoccupied and unfurnished for six months to two years - 10 per cent discount

Following the expiry of the discount, a Long Term Empty Premium will apply to properties which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least two years (unless you are in the Armed Forces or the property is an annexe). 

This applies irrespective of a change of ownership.

This premium is 100 per cent in addition to the normal bill, but from April 2020 it will increase to 200 per cent if the property has been empty for five years or more and from April 2021 it will be 300 per cent if the property has been empty for 10 years or more.

Apply for empty property discount

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.
Note: This discount does not usually apply where the only works being undertaken are kitchen or bathroom refurbishment.

Discount rates:

  • First 12 months: 75 per cent of the full amount providing the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished
  • 12 months to 2 years: 10 per cent of the full amount

Following the expiry of the uninhabitable discount, a Long Term Empty Premium will apply to properties which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least two years (unless you are in the Armed Forces or the property is an annexe). This applies irrespective of a change of ownership.

This premium is 100 per cent in addition to the normal bill, but from April 2020 it will increase to 200 per cent if the property has been empty for five years or more and from April 2021 it will be 300 per cent if the property has been empty for 10 years or more.

Apply for discount on uninhabitable grounds

 

Student discounts

People in full time education may be entitled to a student discount from the council tax bill of the property they live in.

50% Discount

If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50 per cent 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.

25% Discount

A 25 per cent 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.

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 November 1, provided that they left the course after April 30.

How do I apply?

Fill out the form below and return to us.

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.

Apply for student discount

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 per cent from the amount of Council Tax you pay. This is usually for;

(a) second homes which are used by friends and family for occasional use or

(b) furnished lettings which are unoccupied pending a new tenant or

(c) furnished property with no residents. 

Certain criteria must be met for this discount: 

  • The property must be furnished.
  • No-one must live at the property as their main home. 

Apply for second home discount

Applications can either be sent via email to revenues@allerdale.gov.uk or post to Allerdale Borough Council, Allerdale House, Workington CA14 3YJ.

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.

50% Discount

If your property does not qualify for an exemption, a 50 per cent 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.

25% Discount

A 25 per cent 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.

Apply for a discount/exemption

 

Discounts for apprentices

If one or more of the occupants of a property is an apprentice, a 25 per cent discount may apply because he/she is not counted as living there for Council Tax purposes.

The discount is 50 per cent 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. 

Apply for apprentice discount

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 per cent 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 revenues@allerdale.gov.uk

Discounts for people in prison

A 25 per cent discount is available where only one adult lives in a property, but also where the second of two 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.

Apply for discount or exemption

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 per cent 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. 

Careworkers

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.

Care providers

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.

Apply for discount

Discounts for school and college leavers

If one or more of the adult occupants of a property is a school or college leaver, a 25 per cent discount may apply because he/she is classed as not counted for Council Tax purposes. The discount is 50 per cent if all the adult occupants are school or college leavers.

No discount applies if two or more adults 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 November 1 if they are a school or college leaver aged 18 or 19, provided they left their course after April 30.
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, send the full details of your request to revenues@allerdale.gov.uk

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 per cent or 50 per cent depending on how many adults live in the property. This discount does not apply to a dependant if he or she is a British citizen.

For more information contact revenues@allerdale.gov.uk

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 per cent discount may apply because he/she is classed as not counted for Council Tax purposes. The discount is 50 per cent 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.

Apply for discount

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 revenues@allerdale.gov.uk

Council Tax exemptions

Some dwellings may be exempt from Council Tax, including properties which are empty or occupied only by students, only by people under 18 years of age, or only by people who have an enduring mental illness but would otherwise be liable to pay Council Tax. 

If an application form is not available for the class of exemption you require, contact us by email to revenues@allerdale.gov.uk or telephone 0303 123 1702.

Unoccupied dwellings
ClassExemption descriptionLimit
BOwned by a charity and last occupied for charitable purposes6 months
DOwned by someone in prisonNone
EOwned by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home elsewhereNone
FWhere deceased owner's estate is awaiting probate or letters of administration to be grantedUp to 6 months after grant made
GWhose occupation is prohibited by lawNone
HAwaiting occupation by a Minister of ReligionNone
IOwned by someone who has moved to receive personal care elsewhere but not in a hospital or a homeNone
JOwned by someone who has moved to provide personal care to another personNone
KOwned by a student and last occupied by that person or by other studentsNone
LRepossessed by the MortgageeNone
QUnoccupied dwelling which is the responsibility of a Trustee in BankruptcyNone
RA pitch or mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or boatNone
TForms part of a single property including another dwelling (for example, a granny annexe) and may not be let separately without breach of planning controlNone
Occupied dwellings
ClassExemption description
MHall of residence occupied only by full time students
NDwelling occupied only by full time students
PAccommodation for visiting forces
SDwelling occupied only by people under 18 years of age
UIf occupied by one or more persons who have a severe mental impairment and does not lose the exemption if it is also occupied by, or owned by, one or more students
VDwelling occupied by a diplomat
WSelf contained part of a property, which is occupied by a dependent relative of the family in the other part

For Council Tax purposes, an 'owner' is a person who has a 'material interest' in a dwelling. A 'material interest' means a freehold interest, or a leasehold interest which was granted for a term of six months or more.

Apply for exemption on enduring mental illness grounds

Apply for exemption for student status