Guide Council Tax discounts and exemptions information

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2. Discounts for people who aren't counted

By law you must tell within 21 days of any change that may affect your entitlement to this discount. To falsely claim a discount is a criminal offence and we may prosecute.

A full Council Tax charge is based on two or more adults (over 18 years) living in a household. If there's only one adult, apply for a single person discount.

For Council Tax purposes, certain people are not 'counted' towards the number of adults in a household (they are disregarded) and the bill is worked out as if they weren't living there. This means that the Council Tax bill could be reduced by a discount of 25 per cent or, in certain circumstances, by 50 per cent.

See the list below for who is disregarded and how to apply for a discount.

People in detention

We will disregard (not count) someone if they are:

  • detained in prison, hospital or some other place by order of a court
  • detained pending deportation under the Immigration Act 1971
  • detained in a place of safety under the Mental Health Act 1983

We will not disregard someone:

  • who is detained for non-payment of Council Tax or for default in paying a fine
  • while they are being held in police custody until being remanded in custody by a court

A total exemption from Council Tax can be given if a property has been left unoccupied by a person who is in detention.

Complete the online exemption application or email (including your Council Tax account number, name and address or call 01395 517446 and we will send you an application form to complete and return to us.

People who are severely mentally impaired

To qualify for a reduction a person is deemed to be severely mentally impaired if s/he has severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent. The person must also be entitled to any one of the benefits shown below.

  • Incapacity benefit
  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Care component of Disability Living Allowance or the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at the standard or enhanced rate
  • Increase in the rate of disabled pension (where constant attendance is needed)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (any element)
  • Income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium
  • Universal Credit (including an element for limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work-related activity)

If everyone in the household is severely mentally impaired, the property may be exempt from Council Tax. To claim, either:

1. Print a form for the severe mental impairment discount , or

2. Complete the online exemption application and a separate doctor's certificate form. You need to get the doctor of the severely mentally impaired person(s) to sign it

You must provide evidence of entitlement to any of these benefits together with a signed doctor's certificate.

Please tell us within 21 days of any changes, including if you are moved onto or refused Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Full-time students, student nurses and foreign language assistants

Any property which is occupied only by students, such as a hall of residence, is exempt from Council Tax. Former homes of full-time students may also be exempt. Otherwise, full-time students are disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax purposes.


You qualify as a full-time student, and/or are not counted for Council Tax if:

  • you attend a university or college course lasting for at least one academic year - as long as you attend for at least 24 weeks out of the year and study for at least 21 hours a week during term-time,  or
  • you are under 20 and your course leads to a qualification up to (but not above) A Level standard or equivalent - as long as it lasts for more than three months and involves more than 12 hours of instruction, tuition and/or supervised study per week
  • you are an 18 or 19 year old who left school after 30 April until 1 November of the same year
  • you are an 18 year old for whom Child Benefit is still being paid

You are not a full-time student if you are:

  • taking a course as a consequence of your job such as day release
  • taking an evening class

Student nurses and midwives

A student nurse undertaking a course which leads to a first registration on the Register maintained under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitor Act 1978 is disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax purposes.

Foreign language assistants

You will be classed as a student, and so not counted for Council Tax purposes, if you are:

  • registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits,and
  • working as a foreign language assistant at a school or other educational institution in Great Britain.

To claim a disregard as a full-time student, a student nurse or a foreign language assistant. 

To claim a disregard as a student under 20 years of age, a school/college leaver or getting child benefit.

To claim an exemption please complete the online exemption application.

Former homes of full-time students

If you are a full-time student who has left a property you own or rent (with a leasehold of more than six months), in order to study, the property may be exempt from Council Tax, if:

  • it was your main residence immediately before you became a full-time student; and
  • you vacated it less than six weeks before starting your course; and
  • no-one has occupied it as his or her main home since you vacated it.

Your entitlement to an exemption will stop when you complete your course, even if you do not move back into your former home.  You can apply for this exemption online.

Apprentices and trainees

Apprentices and trainees are 'disregarded' (not counted) for the purposes of working out a household's Council Tax bill. An apprentice is a person who is:

  • regardless of age, employed to learn a trade or profession and
  • undertaking a programme of training leading to a qualification accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Developement Agency and
  • employed at a salary or in receipt of an allowance or both, which are in total no more than £195 per week

The employer is required to provide written confirmation of the applicant's entitlement.

A trainee is a person who is:

  • under 25, and
  • in a recognised form of full-time training funded by either the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People's Learning Agency

Application form for an apprentice discount 

 Application form for a trainee discount 

Hospital and care home residents

Anyone who has moved out of their former home, and whose main residence is now effectively a care home or hospital, is disregarded for Council Tax purposes. Please let us know the details.


For you to be disregarded as a carer, the disabled person must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • any Attendance Allowance
  • the highest or middle rate of the care component of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • an increase in the rate of disablement pension
  • an increase in a Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Universal Credit (including an element for limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work-related activity)

To qualify, you must:

  • live in the same property as the person you are caring for
  • provide care for at least 35 hours a week

You will not qualify if the person you are caring for is your husband, wife, partner, civil partner or your child (aged under 18).

Your income and savings will not affect your eligibility. If there is more than one carer in the property they can both be disregarded for Council Tax purposes as long as they both meet the conditions above.

Please tell us within 21 days of any changes, including if you are moved onto or refused Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Please complete a carer's discount form