Discounts and Exemptions

If you don't inform us that your circumstances have changed 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.

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

Single Person discount

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%) - to claim a single person discount.

Review of Council Tax single person discounts

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 50% charge for the next 3 months, and then on expiry of that, a full charge.

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.

Download and complete the relevant forms: 

Property left unoccupied and substantially unfurnished Download 
Property requiring or undergoing major repairs or undergoing structural alteration Download

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 you will now be liable to pay 200% from this date if your property has been empty & unfurnished for 2 years or more as at 1st April 2019.

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 revenues@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk  if you wish to discuss this further.  

Job related second home 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%.

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)

Application for council tax second home discount. 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  please let us know straight away, 

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

Exempt Dwellings

Some dwellings are exempt from Council Tax.

These are the classes of exempt dwellings:

A. 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.

B. Unoccupied property owned by a charity, for a period of up to six months since last occupied.  After six months a 100% charge applies.

C. From 01 April 2013 the government has replaced this exemption with a discount. This will be awarded as a local discount.

D. Unoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is in prison.

EUnoccupied property because the person who would otherwise occupy the property is permanently resident in hospital or a nursing home.

F. 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.

G. Empty property whose occupation is prohibited by law.  This may include properties where a planning restriction on occupation applies.

H. Unoccupied property held available for use of ministers of religion from which to carry out their duties.

I. Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to receive care.

J. Unoccupied because the person subject to the tax has their sole or main residence elsewhere in order to provide care.

K. Unoccupied, where the person subject to the tax is a student and has been since he/she last occupied the property.

L. Property that has been repossessed under a mortgage.

M. Student halls of residence.

N. Premises where ALL the residents are students.

O. Property owned by the Ministry of Defence and held available for occupation by serving personnel.

P. Property occupied by members of visiting forces or certain international organisations.

Q. Property left empty by a bankrupt.

R. Unused caravan pitch or boat mooring.

S. Property occupied only by people under 18 years of age.

TUnoccupied ancillary accommodation (e.g. annexes) which may not be let separately without being in breach of planning regulations.

U. Property occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired.

V. Property occupied by a foreign diplomat or a member of an international organisation headquartered in the U.K.

W. Any part of a property e.g. an annex, which is occupied by a dependant relative of the family in the other part of the building where the relative is either over 65, severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled.

This list is a summary for guidance only. If you believe your property may qualify please contact us.

Family Annexes

From 1 April 2014, a new Council Tax discount of 50% is being introduced for 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 from 1 April 2014.

The new discount is not based on occupation or furniture but on 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 the Gov.uk website.