For Council Tax purposes, a person is classed as a resident of a dwelling if they are aged 18 or over and have their main residence in that dwelling. The full Council Tax bill assumes that a dwelling has two or more residents. If there is only one resident, the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25 per cent.
People who fall into certain groups are disregarded as residents when working out entitlement to a discount (ie they are not counted as residents).
If a dwelling is occupied by two or more residents and all but one of them can be disregarded then the dwelling is treated as though it has only one resident and the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25 per cent.
If all the adult residents of a dwelling can be disregarded, the dwelling is treated as though it has no residents and the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 50 per cent.
The following groups are examples of disregarded persons:
- students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees
- patients who live in a hospital or nursing home
- severely mentally impaired persons
- 18 and 19 year olds for whom child benefit is payable
- people in detention (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
- some carers or care workers
- members of religious communities
Derbyshire Dales District Council has exercised its discretion to vary the discount applicable to properties that are not occupied as anyone’s main residence and that are not exempt from Council Tax in the following 3 cases:
(a) If a property is unoccupied and furnished (known as a "second home" for Council Tax purposes), then up until 31st March 2013 the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 10 per cent. From 1st April 2013, no discount will be given on second homes. The only exception is where a second home is required for job-related purposes, e.g. the property is provided by the occupier's employer, in which case a 50% discount may be granted.
(b) If a property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished then, from 1st April 2013, a 100% discount will be allowed for the first 3 months that it is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. After this 3 month period has expired, no discount will be granted. A property must be re-occupied continuously for more than 6 weeks before this discount can apply again.
(c) If a property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and either it requires (or is undergoing) major repairs work to render it habitable, or it is undergoing structural alterations, then a 100% discount will be allowed for the first 12 months it is in that state. After that time no discount will be granted.
The government has introduced a new discount from April 2014 for annexes that are classed as separate dwellings that are occupied by a relative of the Council Taxpayer living in the main dwelling (a separate exemption from Council Tax already applies where the occupier of the annexe is an elderly or disabled relative of the Council Taxpayer of the main dwelling). A 50% discount, on top of any other discount already awarded, will apply to any annexe that qualifies for this relief.
For Council Tax payers on low incomes, help towards paying your Council Tax is available in the form of Council Tax Support, which replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1st April 2013. More information about Council Tax Support, including a quick ready reckoner for you to see if you may qualify or a full benefit calculator and an on-line claim form, can be found on the Benefits pages of our website.
The District Council does have a general discretion to award discounts if there are particularly good reasons for doing so. Such cases could possibly include where a property remains furnished after a fire or flooding but the property is uninhabitable and it would be unreasonable to continue to charge full Council Tax. Because the whole amount of any discretionary discounts have to be funded by the district council (even though the district council only keeps around 12% of all Council Tax collected), any discounts awarded will need to be approved by a committee of elected members.
If you think you may be entitled to a discount, please contact the Revenues Section. Full details of all the discounts (including all the disregarded groups) are available on request.
I have a discount and my circumstances have changed
If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must tell the Revenues Section within 21 days of any change of circumstances which affects your entitlement. If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a fixed penalty.