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Benefits and Council Tax

Discounts and exemptions

In this section you will find the following information:

You might be entitled to receive a reduction or an exemption on your Council Tax bill. 

While you are waiting to see if your application for a reduction or exemption has been successful please continue to pay the instalments shown on your original bill until your account is updated and the new bill arrives.


The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in one household. However, if you are the only adult who lives in your home or if you mainly live in a job-related residence, then your bill can be reduced (see single person discount and second home discount).

We don't include all adults that live in a property when processing a Council Tax bill for a household, see the links below. Apply online or download to complete the relevant forms if you think you are eligible:

  • Full-time students, non-British spouses/dependents of students
Apply online
  • Student nurses and Youth Training trainees
Apply online
  • Apprentices
pdf Download (252 KB)
  • Patients permanently a resident in the hospital
  • People who are being looked after in care homes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
pdf Download (162 KB)
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
Apply online
  • 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
Apply online
  • 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)
Apply online
  • Diplomats and members of international organisations headquartered in the UK

Empty properties

If a property is unoccupied, a 100% discount will apply for one month since the property was last empty and unfurnished, after which a 100% charge will apply.

Newly built properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished will receive a 100% discount for 3 months. After which they will be liable for a full charge.

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties in need of or undergoing major repair work to render them habitable can now claim a 100% discount for a maximum period of 12 months, instead of an exemption. After 12 months a 100% charge applies.

Property left unoccupied and substantially unfurnished

Apply online
Property requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration Apply online

Long term empty premium

From 1st April 2013, all properties (apart from some unoccupied annexes or job-related Ministry of Defence accommodation) which have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years will be liable to pay 150%. The 2 years can have started before 1st April 2013. If at 1st April 2013, the property had not been empty and unfurnished for 2 years, the charge will be 100% until the 2 years expires, when it will become a charge of 150%.

Following changes to legislation during 2018, the premium will now be increased to 100% from 1st April 2019. This means that with effect from 1 April 2019 where a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished / empty for more than 2 years you will now be liable to pay 200%.

When deciding whether the premium should apply we may take into consideration the reasons why properties are unoccupied and unfurnished, including whether they are available for sale or rent. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to discuss this further.  

Family annexes

If you currently have an annexe which is lived in by a family member, you can receive a 50% Council Tax discount on the annexe. The discount is not based on occupation or furniture but on the use of the annexe by the resident of the main building or occupation by a family member. If a non-family member occupies an annexe the discount will not apply. For more details about annexes visit

Application for Council Tax Annexe discount form Apply online

People with disabilities

If you, or someone who lives with you, is in need of an extra bathroom, adapted kitchen, or extra space in your property because of wheelchair use indoors, you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill.

(Financial and technical assistance is available to assist in adapting homes to meet the needs of disabled children and adults. For more information see our Disabled facilities grants page.)

Contact the Listing Officer (see Appeals) if your home has any special fixtures that have been added for a disabled resident which reduce the home's value. Also if you do not think they have been taken into account in the valuation band to which your home has been assigned.

You may also be entitled to travel concessions

Application for Council Tax disablement reduction Apply online

Second homes

Changes to the charge applied to Second Homes from 1st April 2025

Under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023, councils were given the discretion to charge additional council tax of up to 100% on furnished / second homes not used as a sole or main residence.

With effect from 1 April 2025, Malvern Hills District councils elected members have voted to use discretionary powers granted under Section 11C and 11D of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to charge an additional 100% Council Tax premium on second homes, furnished properties which are no one’s sole or main residence, subject to legislation. This means that the charge will increase to 200%.

The government intends to introduce exceptions from the second home premium. These exceptions and how to apply for them will be shared here when available. In the meantime you can review the government consultation. 

If your reasons for having a second home is job-related, you may be eligible for a 50% discount. You may qualify for a discount if you are liable for paying Council Tax on a second furnished property, a discount will be applied to the dwelling which is not your main residence.

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 the 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 the 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 a caretaker, landlord of a pub or 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).
Application for Council Tax second home discount Apply online

Single person discount

If you are the only adult that lives in your property (as their main home) and you are over the age of 18 years old, your Council Tax bill will be reduced by a 25%.

Apply for a single person discount

We are conducting a review of all single person discounts, to help you complete the review forms pdf read the frequently asked questions (134 KB) .


Some dwellings are exempt from Council Tax. These are the classes of exempt dwellings download and complete the applicable forms:

  • Uninhabitable property and empty property undergoing structural alteration or repairs. (Please note that from 1st April 2013, the government has abolished this exemption. We are replacing this with a discount of 100%. This discount will apply for a maximum period of 12 months (as long as the property remains empty and unfurnished).  After 12 months a 100% charge applies. Class D Discount - dwellings requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration.)
  • Unoccupied property owned by a charity, for a period of up to six months since last occupied.  After six months a 100% charge applies.
  • Please note that from 01 April 2013, the government has replaced this exemption with a discount. This will be awarded as a local discount.
  • Unoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is in prison.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is a permanent resident in a hospital or a nursing home.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied property where probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted, and for a period of up to six months after the date such grant is made.  A 100% charge will then apply.
  • Empty property whose occupation is prohibited by law.  This may include properties where a planning restriction on occupation applies.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied property held available for use of ministers of religion from which to carry out their duties.
  • Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to receive care.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to provide care.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied, where the person subject to the tax is a student and has been since he/she last occupied the property.
  • Property that has been repossessed under a mortgage.
  • Student halls of residence.
  • Premises where ALL the residents are students.
Apply online
  • Property owned by the Ministry of Defence and held available for occupation by serving personnel.
  • Property occupied by members of visiting forces or certain international organisations.
  • Property left empty by a bankrupt.
  • Unused caravan pitch or boat mooring.
  • Property occupied only by people under 18 years of age.
Apply online
  • Unoccupied ancillary accommodation (e.g. annexes) which may not be let separately without being in breach of planning regulations.
Apply online
  • Property occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired.
pdf Download (162 KB)
  • Property occupied by a foreign diplomat or a member of an international organisation headquartered in the U.K.
  • Any part of a property (e.g. annexes) which is occupied by a dependent relative where the relative is either over 65, severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled.
pdf Download (217 KB)

If you believe your property may qualify or that you may be entitled to a discount, and this is not shown on your bill you should contact usIf your bill shows that a discount or exemption has been applied and your circumstances have changed, then let us know straight away.

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

Struggling to afford your Council Tax bill?
Usually, bills are paid in 10 monthly instalments and you get a tax break in February and March. We can help if you are having trouble paying your Council Tax. Find out how to request a change to your Council Tax installments.