Council Tax Discounts

People and Properties that qualify for Council Tax Discounts   

  • Second Adult Rebate

help with Council tax

Discounted Groups | People with Disabilities | Empty Dwellings

Advice regarding discounts, exemptions and contact details 

Discounted groups

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%).  

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a dwelling:

  • Persons under 18 years of age
  • patients resident in hospital (ie long term patients)
  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • 18-19 year olds who are at (or have just left) school
  • care workers 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 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)

Other Discounts Available

  • Unoccupied and unfurnished properties discounted at 100% for up to six months
  • Properties requiring or undergoing structural alteration or major repair discounted at 100% provided the total period does not exceed 12 months.
  • Annexes occupied by family members or utilised as part of the main home discounted at 50% 

Normally a full time student is a person who is undertaking a college or university course lasting at least one academic year, and the course involves at least 21 hours of study per week, however there are some exceptions to this rule. 

If you think you may be entitled to a discount, you should contact Customer Services.

If you have a change in your circumstances that might affect the amount of Council Tax you pay you must inform us straight away.

Council Tax Change of Circumstance Form (pdf)

Council Tax Discount for Care Leavers

Care leavers will receive the following discounts up to their 25th birthday:

  • Care leavers who are solely liable to pay Council Tax in their own right will have their bill reduced to nil;
  • Care leavers who are jointly liable to pay Council tax will have the bill reduced in proportion 50% (if 2 adults), 33% (3 adults), 25% (4 adults);
  • There will be no discount where the care leaver is not liable to pay Council Tax, except where the care leaver lives in a household where the liable person would be exempt if the care leaver did not reside with them.  In this case full discretionary discount will be applied.

Cumbria Care Leavers Policy

Care Leaver Discount Application Form


Changes from April 2013

From April 2013 some of the discounts are changing:-

The Council Tax discount on second homes has reduced from 10% to 0% 

A Council Tax premium of up to 50% is applicable to houses empty for more than two years

The Council Tax discount on houses empty for more than 6 months has reduced from 50% to 0%

NB the Council Tax discount for properties subject to major works, or structural alteration remains at 100% for up to 12 months; and the Council Tax discount for vacant properties up to 6 months will remain at 100%. 

People with Disabilities

If you (or someone who lives with you) need a room, an extra bathroom, kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduced council tax bill. 

The bill may be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown on the valuation list.

These reductions ensure that disabled people do not pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability. Properties in BAND A were also included from April 2000.

Disabled Band Reduction Form(amended)

Exempt Dwellings

Some properties are exempt, including properties occupied only by students and/or their non-British spouses, and vacant properties which:- 

  • are owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months)  
  • are left empty by someone who has gone into prison, or who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home or elsewhere
  • are left empty by someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person.
  • are left empty by students
  • are waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months)
  • have been repossessed
  • are the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
  • are empty because their occupation is forbidden by law
  • are waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • are unoccupied annexes ('Granny flats') or occupied in certain circumstances 
  • are occupied by persons under 18
  • are unoccupied caravan pitches or boat moorings 
  • are occupied solely by severely impaired people. 

NB persons living in annexes should contact the council as they may be eligible for a discount or exemption