Council Tax discounts and exemptions

Information and guidance on Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

There are a range of Council Tax discounts available but certain conditions may apply in order to qualify and supporting evidence will be required. The main discounts available are listed in this page for guidance only.

Council Tax Support Scheme

Council Tax support, previously known as Council Tax reduction, reduces the amount you have to pay on your Council Tax bill.

You may be eligible to apply if:

  • You are below pension age and on a low income with savings of less than £6000
  • You are of pension age and on a low income with savings of less than £16000 or receive pension credit guarantee

More information on this, and how to claim, can be found by viewing our Council Tax Support Scheme page.


The full Council Tax bill is based on two adults living in a property as their main home.

If only one adult lives in the property as their main home, a Single Person Discount can be applied which reduces the bill by 25 per cent. To apply please complete the online form below.

If you are only away from your home for a short period, intend to return to your property, and still keep your belongings in the property, it is still classed as your main residence. Some occupiers are not counted for the purposes of Council Tax, these can include those that are students, apprentices, some carers and the severely mentally impaired. Please see the information below for more details.

If you have been awarded a Single Person Discount and you have had a change in your circumstances; that may affect your award. If another adult has moved into your property or a child is now aged 18 please complete the Single Person Discount cancellation form below.  For any other changes please complete the relevant form on the tell us about a change page.

A single occupier discount cannot be awarded for any unoccupied properties.

If you receive a single person discount review form you must complete and return it within 14 days of the date on the letter. If you do not respond your single person discount may be cancelled back to the beginning of the financial year and a revised bill issued.

If a disabled person lives at your address, you may be entitled to a Council Tax reduction. This is done by reducing the Council Tax band of your property.

Disabled Band Relief is a reduction in your Council Tax bill, which can be awarded, where we are satisfied that:

  • any member of your household is substantially and permanently disabled, whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise and, at least one of the following facilities in the property, is essential in order to meet that person’s needs;
  • a room which is not a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or lavatory, which is used predominantly by any disabled resident of the dwelling and is required for meeting their needs (the room may be used for providing therapy or otherwise specific to the disability and care of the disabled resident); or,
  • an additional bathroom or kitchen (i.e. one which is not the only bathroom or kitchen within the dwelling) which is required for meeting the needs of any disabled resident of the dwelling; or,
  • sufficient floor space to permit the use of and use is made of a wheelchair indoors, which is required for meeting the needs of any disabled resident of the dwelling.

If none of the above facilities are present in the property you will not qualify.

An inspection will be required to be undertaken to validate your application. This reduction is to make sure people do not pay more Council Tax in respect of extra space or facilities needed for someone with a disability. However, it does not apply if the only part of your home that has been adapted is your normal kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

If you have been granted a disability reduction, this will appear on the front of your bill. This reduction is achieved by applying the next lowest valuation band to the property when calculating the charge. In other words a property in Band C will be charged at Band B. Bills for Band A (the lowest band) properties will be reduced by one-sixth of the charge. If you have not been given a reduction but think that you should get one, please complete our online form below, or contact the Council Tax team.

A person is classed as being severely mentally impaired if he or she suffers, for whatever reason, from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent.

In order not to be counted for Council Tax purposes, a person will need a certificate from his or her doctor confirming their impairment.

The person must also be entitled to one of a number of qualifying benefits.

You will be disregarded if you are:

Part 1

  • Providing care or support through a connection with the crown, a charity or local authority and
  • Employed for at least 24 hours a week and
  • Paid no more than £44 per week and
  • Resident where the care is given or in premises which have been provided for the better performance of work


Part 2

Providing care for a person who is entitled to one of the following state benefits:

  • An attendance allowance
  • The highest or middle rate of the care component of a disability living allowance
  • The appropriate increased rate of disablement allowance
  • An increase in a constant attendance allowance
  • The standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment
  • Resident in the same dwelling as the person to whom the care is provided
  • Providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average
  • Not a disqualified relative of the person being cared for
  • A disqualified relative is a person who is the spouse of the other or they live together as husband and wife, or the parent of the other, who is a child below 18 years of age

Full time students

Students (or overseas students) on a full time or qualifying course of education are not counted for Council Tax purposes.

A full time student is defined as:

Someone who is enrolled in a full-time course of education at a prescribed educational establishment.

  • a full time course of education must last for at least one academic year or for at least one full calendar year for those educational establishments that do not have academic years
  • attend for at least 24 weeks in each academic or calendar year
  • study for at least 21 hours per week

or a person under the age of 20 undertaking a qualifying course of education

  • a qualifying course is one which lasts for at least three calendar months, and is not a course of higher education
  • must require at least 12 hours per week to be spent on the relevant activities of the course

or a foreign language assistant

  • treated as a student during any period that they are appointed at a school or other educational establishment anywhere in Great Britain
  • must be registered with the British Council

Student nurses studying academic courses at universities are classified as full time students.

Student nurses will be disregarded if they are completing a course leading to registration on any of Parts 1 to 6, 8, 10 or 11 of the Register maintained under section 10 of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979, as a first inclusion on that Register.

School or college leavers

A resident who is under the age of 20 years and has ceased to undertake a qualifying course of education or full time course of education after the 30 April and before 1 November in that year.

Non-British spouses of students

A person who is the spouse or dependant of a student is eligible for discount if the spouse or dependant is not a British Citizen and is prevented by immigration regulations from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits whilst in the UK.


You are not counted if you are employed to learn a trade, business, profession, vocation or office of employment and your salary is no more than £195 per week.

Young persons in training

You are not counted if you are under 25 years of age and are receiving approved training funded by the Learning and Skills council.

You will not be counted if you are between the ages of 18 and 20 years old and in full time education undertaking a course of further education.

Visiting forces, international headquarters and defence organisations

You will not be counted for Council Tax purposes if you are a member of one of the above or a dependant of a member.

Persons with diplomatic privilege or immunity

The discount disregard applies to any person on whom privileges and immunities are granted by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, the Commonwealth Secretarial Act 1996 and the Consular Relations Act 1968 or the Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1985.

Residents of hospitals, care homes or hostels

Resident hospital patients:
You are not counted if the hospital is your only main home. This applies to NHS hospitals only, where the hospital building is entered into the valuation list as a dwelling.
People living in care homes, independent hospitals and hostels providing a high level of care:
If you live in and are receiving care in one of these places you are not counted so long as it is your only main home.


If a dwelling forms part of a single property and is occupied by a dependent relative (who is 65 or more) of the main dwelling occupant, the dependent relative is exempt from paying Council Tax.
Prior to 1 April 2014, a relative who was not a dependent relative of the main dwelling occupant, and was under 65, paid the normal Council Tax charge.
After 1 April 2014, they may now qualify for a 50 per cent discount. This discount will be applied after taking into account any other discounts they are entitled to, for example a single occupancy discount.
If the annexe is unoccupied but is in use by the main householder then a 50 per cent discount may also apply.

People staying in certain hostels and night shelters

A person whose main or only residence is a short stay hostel or night shelter, providing communal accommodation for persons with no fixed abode.

Members of religious communities

You must depend on the community for all your material needs and have no personal income (with the exception of any occupational pension due to former employment) or capital of your own.
Only members whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or a combination of the above are counted.

Persons in detention

This class includes people who are detained by order of the court, whether they are in prison, in a hospital or in any other place.
It does not include people in police custody until they are remanded in custody by a court, but it does include detention under the Immigration Act 1971 (deportation) and under the Mental Health Act 1983.
The disregard does not apply if they have been sent to prison for non-payment of Council Tax or default in paying a fine. It does apply however if they are in prison for non-payment of Business Rates.

Find out and apply online if you are eligible for a Council Tax discount, exemption or the Council Tax Support scheme.


If a property meets the requirements for an exemption then Council Tax won’t need to be paid for a certain amount of time. Each class of exemption has different requirements.

Please tell us immediately of any change in circumstances, because it will affect your Council Tax bill.

You can apply for an exemption using our online form.

A property which has been unoccupied since the date of death of a person who was an owner/leaseholder and where no other person is liable in any other capacity, i.e. a person who was a joint owner with the deceased, and where a person is acting as an executor or administrator and less than 6 months have elapsed since the date on which probate was granted.

A property which is unoccupied and was previously the sole or main residence of a person who is an owner/leaseholder/tenant and who is now permanently in residential care or hospital and no one else lives in the property.

A property which is occupied by one or more residents or which is occupied as term time accommodation and where all such residents are students.

If all the residents are severely mentally impaired you can claim a full exemption.
Severely mentally impaired is defined as someone who has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. This can include people who are severely mentally impaired as a result of:

  •  Degenerative brain disorder for example Alzheimer’s disease
  • A stroke
  • Other forms of dementia
  • Learning disability
  • Severe or chronic mental illness

We can disregard the SMI person for Council Tax, giving 25% off the Council Tax bill if they live with someone not disregarded.

If the SMI person lives alone or if all the residents are considered SMI a full exemption can be applied, meaning there would be nothing to pay on your bill.

The award is for life and moves with the individual.

It is reliant on claiming one of these benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Higher rate or middle rate care component of a Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal independence payment (PIP) daily living component (either rate)
  • Increased rate of Disablement Pension where constant attendance is needed
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Disability Premium included with Income Support
  • Disability Premium included with Jobseekers Allowance where partner is claiming
  • Universal Credit that includes an element for limited capability for work

In addition to the above a doctor’s certification of permanent condition is required.

Discount could be backdated up to maximum 6 years if evidence can be provided, such as doctors certification and receipt of benefits.

A property which is unoccupied and was re-possessed by the mortgagee.

A property which is unoccupied for less than 6 months and is owned by a body established for charitable purposes, and was previously occupied by that body.

An empty property whose occupation is prohibited by law or kept unoccupied by any Act of Parliament. This may include properties where a planning restriction on occupation applies.

A property which is unoccupied and was previously the sole or main residence of a person who is an owner/leaseholder/tenant and who has their sole or main residence elsewhere (but not a hospital, residential care home, nursing home or bail hostel) for the purposes of providing or receiving personal care required by the reason of old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental disorder.

A property which is unoccupied and where the liable person is trustee in bankruptcy.

A property which is occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18 years.

Occupied: Annexe

An occupied dwelling which forms part of a single property, including at least one other dwelling, and which is the sole or main residence of a dependent relative of a person resident in that other dwelling

Occupied: Halls of residence

A property comprising a hall of residence which is occupied or unoccupied and which is/was used mainly for the accommodation of students

Structural work

From 1 April 2016 North Lincolnshire Council will no longer award an exemption in these cases

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

From 1 April 2016 North Lincolnshire Council will no longer award an exemption in these cases.

Occupant in prison

Such properties will be exempt if the person who would be responsible for the bill is in prison/detention and no-one else lives in the property.

Unoccupied properties which will next be used by ministers of religion

An unoccupied dwelling, such as a vicarage, is exempt indefinitely if it is held to be available for occupation by a minister of any religious denomination and from where they will perform the duties of their office.

Properties left unoccupied by a person who is a student

A property which is unoccupied and which was last occupied by the owner/leaseholder who has been a student since he ceased to occupy the property as his sole or main residence or has become a student within 6 weeks of the day he last ceased to occupy the property

Occupied/unoccupied: Armed forces

Armed forces accommodation owned by the Secretary of State for defence.

Occupied: Visiting forces

A property which is occupied or unoccupied in respect of which at least one person has a relevant association with a Visiting Force.

Caravan pitch or mooring

A dwelling consisting of a pitch or mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or boat

Unoccupied: Annexe

An unoccupied dwelling which forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling and may not be let separately from that other dwelling without a breach of the planning control


A property in respect of which at least one person, who would be liable to pay Council Tax, is a diplomat or a person who benefits from diplomatic immunity and who is not a British Citizen and has no other residence in the United Kingdom



0300 3030164

If you need to write to us:

Council Tax
North Lincolnshire Council
Church Square House
30-40 High Street
DN15 6NL