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Home Information for Residents Council Tax Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

Find out about Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

Find out about the types of council tax discounts we offer to support our residents. 

Apply for Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

Adults living alone will be entitled to a discount of 25%. You can apply for this online.

For this discount, certain adults are not counted (disregarded). If everyone living in a property are disregarded a 50% discount will apply. 

If you believe that some or all adults living at a property should be disregarded and a discount applies please contact the Council Tax Team.

People that will be disregarded when deciding how many adults live in a property include:

  • Children under 18
  • Persons over 18 for whom Child Benefit is still being paid
  • Certain school leavers under the age of 20 and who have finished a full-time course between 1 May and 31 October
  • People with a severe mental impairment who receive certain disability and attendance allowances
  • Qualifying students
  • Certain YTS trainees under the age of 25
  • Student nurses
  • Certain apprentices
  • Long-term and permanent hospital patients
  • Certain people resident in residential care homes, nursing homes or mental nursing home or hostel
  • Most persons in prison
  • Certain care workers
  • All adult residents are severely mentally impaired

A discount of 50% has been introduced for properties that:

  • Are annexes and similar properties that are either used together with the main property as someone's home or is the home of someone related to the Council Tax Payer for the main property and
  • The annexe is subject to the Council Tax because by law any building or part of a building providing separate living accommodation must be separately subject to the tax and where it not for this requirement it would have been included with the main property for Council Tax purposes

No discount is given to properties that are empty (furnished or unfurnished) and the full tax is payable unless an exemption applies.

Where a taxpayer leaves a property empty and furnished to live in another property for which they are also liable to Council Tax and which is provided by an employer and they are required to occupy it because of the nature of the job, they may be entitled to a 50% discount on their empty property.

Any property that has been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more will attract an additional premium of 100% to pay.

From 1st April 2021, the premium increases further to 300% for properties empty for 10 years or more.

Below is a summary of the charges made for Empty Properties

Property Type

Council Tax  April 2013 to March 2019

Council Tax from 1st April 2019

Council Tax from 1st April 2020

Council Tax from 1st April 2021

Furnished property not used as anyone's main home

Full Council Tax to pay

Full Council Tax to pay

Full Council Tax to pay

Full Council Tax to pay

Empty and unfurnished for less than 2 years

Full Council Tax to pay

Full Council Tax to pay 

Full Council Tax to pay 

Full Council Tax to pay

Empty and unfurnished for 2 years and less than 5 years

150% of the Council Tax to pay

200% of the Council Tax to pay

200% of the Council Tax to pay

200% of the Council Tax to pay

Empty and unfurnished for 5 years or more

150% of the Council Tax to pay

200% of the Council Tax to pay

300% of the Council Tax to pay

300% of the Council Tax to pay

Empty and unfurnished for 10 years or more

150% of the Council Tax to pay

200% of the Council Tax to pay

300% of the Council Tax to pay

400% of the Council Tax to pay

Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 sets out who is liable for the Council Tax and where there are no residents, the owner is liable. However, it defines the owner in this context as follows: Unoccupied rented properties, who is liable?

"owner", to any dwelling, means the person as regards whom the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. He has a material interest in the whole or any part of the dwelling; and
  2. At least part of the dwelling or, as the case may be, of the part concerned is not subject to a material interest inferior to his interest;

'Material interest' is defined as "a freehold interest or a leasehold interest which was granted for a term of six months or more".


Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. These include:

Empty properties:

  • Are owned by a charity (exempt for up to 6 months)
  • Are left empty by someone who has gone into prison, hospital, nursing home or residential home
  • Are left empty because either probate or letters of administration are awaited, or less than 6 months have elapsed since they were granted.  This exemption does not apply if the property has been left to a beneficiary in the deceased’s will. As they have become the new owner they will be liable to the Council Tax
  • Are prohibited by law from being occupied
  • Are empty awaiting occupation by a minister of religion
  • Are in the possession of a mortgagee (the lender of a mortgage, typically a bank, building society) under the mortgage
  • Are unoccupied because the resident is providing/receiving care elsewhere (NOTE special rules apply and further information will be supplied on request)
  • Are owned by the Secretary of State for Defence for armed forces accommodation
  • Are liable to a Council Tax charge but where it would be payable by a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Is an unoccupied annexe which cannot be let separately, because it is part of the main dwelling and where its letting is restricted under planning regulations

Occupied properties where:

  • All the residents are qualifying students
  • They are occupied by a student and where the spouse of a student is not a British Citizen and who is prevented by the terms of their entry visa from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits
  • They are annexes, to other dwellings, solely occupied by dependent relatives of the Council Taxpayer resident in the other dwelling
  • All the adult residents are severely mentally impaired

Apply for Student Discount

  1. A person may be disregarded as a student in several ways
  • If they are enrolled with an education establishment within the European Union to take a course which: lasts for at least one academic year and the course requires at least 24 weeks of study, tuition or work experience per year and at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week

  • If the student is attending The University of Nottingham or Nottingham Trent University please contact the Council Tax office to apply for a disregard. These Universities supply a list of their students which can be used to quickly confirm student status

  • If the student is attending another University or College they need to provide a copy of a student certificate that would be supplied by their University or College. Students at Nottingham University or Nottingham Trent University may also need to provide a certificate if their details are not on the lists provided by these universities

Note: If a property is only occupied by students a full exemption can be given. To get such an exemption contact the Council Tax office giving details of all the students if they attend The University of Nottingham or Nottingham Trent University or provide copies of their certificates if they attend a different university or college.

2. If they are under twenty years of age, studying for more than three months and at least twelve hours a week for a qualification up to A level, ONC or OND. This does not apply to correspondence courses and evening courses or courses undertaken as a consequence of their employment.

3. If they are a foreign language assistant registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.

4. If they are a non-British spouse or dependent of a student and prevented by the terms of UK entry from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.

If you or any member of your household is disabled and your home has at least one of the following features:

  • A second bathroom or kitchen required for meeting the needs of the disabled person
  • A room set aside to provide specific facilities for the disabled person
  • Sufficient room for the disabled person to use their wheelchair indoors

You may qualify for a reduction in your Council Tax bill.

If you qualify for a reduction, the amount of Council Tax payable will be based on the band below the one in which your property has been placed.

Even if your home is in Band A, the lowest band, you may still qualify for a reduction.

How to apply for a Discount, Exemption or Reduction for people with disabilities

If you want to apply for a discount or exemption or want more information contact the Council Tax Office. If you wish to have a discount or exemption backdated you may be required to provide evidence to show you were entitled.

Applications for a reduction for people with disabilities can be made by completing a form.

From 1st April 2019 onwards the Council will give a 100% discount for Council Tax Payers aged 18 and 19 who were previously under the care of the Council. To get this discount the following conditions must be met:

  • The taxpayer is under 20;
  • They were previously under the care of Nottingham City Council;
  • They are liable for Council Tax as a resident with the highest legal interest i.e. it does not apply to empty properties; 
  • Their personal advisor has submitted the required application to the Council Tax section

To receive this discount please contact your personal advisor who will then make the required application on your behalf to Council Tax.

Please note this discount does not apply for any period before 1st April 2019 or to any taxpayer who was under care with any other Council.

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