Reducing your bill

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax there are many ways you may be able to reduce your bill. These include:

Council Tax Support

This is financial help towards your Council Tax bill. The amount of help you may get depends on your circumstances. More information on Council Tax Support.

Discounts

Single Person Discount (SPD)

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are two adults living in a property. If only one adult lives in a property (as their main home), the Council Tax bill may be reduced by 25%. This is called a single person discount. To apply for this discount you can download a Single Person Discount form.

If there are more than one adult living in the property but each of them except one is a disregarded person we may give a 25% discount. If all the adults living in the household are disregarded persons, we may give a discount of 50%.

Second Homes

If the second home is needed under a contract of employment, we may give a discount of 50%.

Empty-home discounts

If your property is empty and unfurnished, you may be entitled to one of the following discounts:

  • An empty and unfurnished property can receive a 100% discount for up to one month from the date it became empty and unfurnished. Newly built properties can receive a 100% discount for up to one month after they are finished as long as the property remains empty and unfurnished. 

      After this period, the full Council Tax becomes payable.

  • An empty and unfurnished property which needs structural repairs or alterations to make it suitable to live in can receive a 100% discount for up to 12 months.

      After this period, the full Council Tax becomes payable.

Annexes

From April 2014 a 50% discount became available for properties with self-contained annexes occupied by family members.  Any qualifying annexe will have a 50% reduction.  The liability on the main house remains unaffected.

Cancelling or changing a discount

If your bill shows that we have given you a discount and your circumstances change, you must inform us immediately. You must tell us about the change within 21 days or we may charge you a £70 penalty. To report a change, you can call our Customer Services section on 0161 912 2220.

Disregarded persons

We may be able to give you a discount if someone in your home is disregarded for any of the following reasons:

  • People in prison or certain types of legal detention centres.
  • People who have a severe learning disability, mental illness or form of dementia.
  • People aged 18 or over who Child Benefit is paid for.
  • Students.
  • The wife, husband or dependant of a student who is not a British Citizen and who cannot take paid employment or claim benefits.
  • Apprentices.
  • Student nurses (including student nurses on project 2000).
  • Youth training trainees.
  • Patients who are staying in hospital over a long term.
  • Adults who mainly live in a nursing home or residential home, and who are receiving care or treatment there.
  • Certain school leavers under the age of 20 who have finished a course of education between 1 May and 31 October.
  • Certain carers providing care or support to another person other than their husband, wife or partner, or their child aged under 18.
  • People living in hostels - people with no fixed address.
  • Members of religious communities.
  • Members (or their dependants) of international headquarters and defence organisations.
  • Foreign language assistants who are registered with Central Bureau.
  • People associated with visiting forces.
  • Diplomats and senior officials of international organisations, and their husbands or wives.

Exemptions

A property may be exempt from Council Tax, usually if it is unoccupied, but also in some cases where all the occupiers are disregarded. Properties that are exempt from Council Tax fall into one or another of the following classes:

 
Class The property is: Exemption Period 

B

Unoccupied - owned by a charity.

Exempt for up to six months.

D

Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is in prison (except in cases of non-payment of fines or local taxes).

Until occupied.

E

Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is now living permanently in a residential care home or nursing home. 

Until occupied.

F

Unoccupied following the death of the person liable for the Council Tax

Exemption continues for up to six months after probate or letters of administration are granted, followed by a full charge.

G

Unoccupied - empty where occupation is prevented by law.

Until occupied.

H

Unoccupied - held for a minister of religion.

Until occupied.

I

Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is living elsewhere to receive care.

Until occupied.

J

Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is living elsewhere to provide care.

Until occupied.

K

Unoccupied - the person liable for Council Tax is a student living elsewhere to study.

Until occupied.

L

Unoccupied - repossessed by a mortgage lender.

Until possession relinquished.

Q

Unoccupied - the trustee is in bankruptcy.

Until property situation changes.

R

Unoccupied - caravan pitch or boat mooring.

Until property situation changes.

T

Unoccupied annexe.

Until property situation changes.

M

Occupied - student hall of residence.

Until property situation changes.

N

Occupied - by full-time students only.

Until property situation changes.

O

Occupied - by UK armed forces.

Until property situation changes.

P

Occupied - By visiting service personnel.

Until property situation changes.

S

Occupied - by people aged under 18.

Until property situation changes.

U

Occupied - by people who have a severe learning disability, mental illness or form of dementia who would otherwise have to pay council tax.

Until property situation changes.

V

Occupied - by at least one foreign diplomat or specified member of an international organisation.

Until property situation changes.

W

Occupied annexe. A 'granny flat' lived in by a dependent relative of a person who lives in the main home.

Until property situation changes.

If you wish to apply for any of the above exemptions, please write and tell us:

  • Which exemption you are applying for.
  • Your name and the address of the property concerned.
  • Your Council Tax reference number (if known).

Disabled relief

In certain circumstances, we will reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay if any member of your household is severely and permanently disabled.

To qualify for this reduction, the property must have at least one of the following features:

  • A room other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet which the disabled person uses and needs.
  • An extra bathroom or kitchen needed for the disabled person.
  • Enough floor space indoors to allow the disabled person to use a wheelchair.

If you qualify for disabled reduction, we will give you a discount in your banding. The Disabled Reduction Scheme applies to properties in all valuation bands A to H. To apply for disabled person reduction you can call our Customer Services section on 0161 912 2220 or download a Disabled Person Reduction Application Form.