Discounts and reductions

Page last updated at 26 September 2017 at 09:32

There are a variety of discounts and disregards which you may be entitled to. If you are disregarded then it means that we do not count you when we work out the number of people living at your property.    

Single persons discount

A full council tax bill is calculated on the basis that there are at least two people aged 18 or over living in the property. Where there is only one person over the age of 18 resident in the property a 25% discount can be applied. This discount can only apply to your main home and not any second homes.

Please contact us confirming the date you wish to claim from. If you are claiming a discount because someone has left your home you will need to let us know where they have moved to. Please be aware that generally you will not be entitled to Single Person Discount if someone has left your home for a temporary period.

If you are already receiving a discount and another adult moves into the household you must notify us within 21 days, clearly stating the date this change took place.

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Second homes & empty properties

If you have two properties, you will have to pay Council Tax for both of them unless:

  • an exemption applies, or
  • someone else has their sole or main residence in your other property

You will have to pay the usual Council Tax for the property which is your main home. This will normally be either 100% or 75%, depending on how many people live there. In addition you will have to pay the full amount of Council Tax for the second home or property.

Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished, full Council Tax is payable from the date the property first became empty.  

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Property empty for over 2 years including unfurnished second homes

If a property has been empty and unfurnished for over two years then councils can apply a long term empty premium. Eastleigh Borough Council has decided to set a premium of 50%, which means that the rate of Council Tax payable for properties empty and unfurnished over two years is 150%.

If the property is still substantially furnished, a 100% charge will apply.

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Furnished second homes or a furnished unoccupied property

If you own a furnished second home or property that is nobody’s main residence, you will be liable for the full Council Tax. However, if you are renting the property out to a tenant, in most circumstances the tenant will be liable.

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Second homes or properties that are being refurbished

If you have a property which is in a poor state of repair, or undergoing substantial refurbishment work or structural alterations, the Council Tax remains payable unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes it from the Council Tax list. The VOA will only do this if it is derelict and uninhabitable, or if the work is substantial and the property is being rebuilt or structurally altered. Please click here for further information.

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Disregarded people

Certain groups of people can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes. These are:

  • Persons in detention

This includes persons detained by an order of a court, whether in prison, hospital, or any other place. It does not include people in police custody until they are remanded in custody by a court.

  • Severely mentally impaired

The liable person needs to be certified as severely mentally impaired by a registered medical practitioner and be entitled to a state benefit from a qualifying list.

  • Persons for whom child benefit is payable
  • Students

A disregard applies from the day the course starts and continues until it is completed, abandoned or the student is no longer permitted to take it. The term “student” for council tax purposes is defined in law. Evidence in the form of a student certificate is required from the relevant educational establishment

  • Traditional student nurses

Persons not on a full time at university or college but are following a course leading to an appropriate registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979, are disregarded for council tax purposes. For those in full time education, the student disregard applies.

  • Youth training trainees

A person that is under 25 and is undergoing training , funded by the Secretary of State, pursuant to arrangements made under the Employment and training Act 1973.

  • Apprentices

A person is an apprentice regardless of age providing they are employed for the purposes of learning a trade or profession and is undertaking a training programme leading to a qualification accredited by the Qualification and Curriculum Authority. However, the disregard only applies if the person receives a salary / allowance of no more than £195.00 per week.

  • Hospital patients

A person who has their sole or main residence in a NHS hospital and that building is entered in the Valuation List as a dwelling.

  • Patients in homes

A person who is resident in a care home, hostel or independent hospital and is receiving treatment is disregarded. The disregard does not apply if the person is not receiving treatment, including resident staff.

  • Carers

To be disregarded for council tax, a carer must provide care for a minimum of 24 hours per week on behalf of a relevant body (i.e. local authority). A person may also qualify where they provide care for someone who is entitled to certain benefits, resident in the same property but not a spouse / civil partner or living together as such or a parent of a child under 18 years of age. 

  • Residents of hostels

This applies for residents of such establishments set up to help the homeless, providing the accommodation does not comprise of self-contained units and used essentially for persons with no fixed abode.

  • International headquarters and defence organisactions

Applies to members (and their dependants) of international headquarters or defence organisation. The organisations concerned are designated under the International Headquarters and Defence Organisations Act 1964.

  • Religious communities

This covers members of communities where the principle occupation is prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering or any combination of these. Each person will be disregarded only if they have no income, with the exception of any occupational pension from former employment, and are dependent on the community for their material needs.

  • School and college leavers

This covers young people aged 18 or 19 leaving school or college between 1st May and 31st October each year. The disregard in these circumstances applies to 1st November of that year.

  • Visiting forces

To be disregarded, the person needs to be a member of a visiting force or a civilian component of it, or a dependant of a member, providing the dependant is not a British citizen or is not ordinarily resident in the UK.

  • Spouse/civil partner or dependant of a foreign student

A non-British person who is the spouse, civil partner or dependant of a student and is prevented by immigration regulations from taking paid employment or claiming benefits whilst in the UK.

  • Diplomats

Any person on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act or other such Act, are disregarded for council tax purposes.

If, after counting the number of adults living in your dwelling and then deducting from that number anyone included on the above list, the number is less than two, then you should be entitled to a discount. Please contact us to make a claim or for further details.

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Discretionary Reduction in Liability Policy

The Council has discretionary powers to reduce the Council Tax liability where statutory discounts, exemptions and reductions do not apply.  Each case is assessed on an individual basis.

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Reviews

Local Authorities are required by law to maintain accurate records for billing and collection of Council Tax. Reviews are carried out of all discounts and disregards periodically to ensure that you are still entitled to them. Failure to return any review form we issue may result in the reduction being cancelled.

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