Discounts, disregards and exemptions

The full Council Tax bill is based on there being 2 adults aged 18 or over living in a property. The bill is not increased if there are more than two adults resident, but it can be reduced if there is only one. This is known as a Single Person’s Discount. 

Certain people are not counted when looking at the number of adults resident in a dwelling. For example, if there are 2 adults in a dwelling, and one of them is in one of the special groups listed below, the bill is worked out as if only one adult lives there and it is reduced by 25%. This is known as a Disregard Discount, as one or more of the resident adults are disregarded.

To find out if a discount may apply to your Council Tax bill, you need to count the number of adults who live in the property as their main home, and then deduct the number of adults who fall into one of the disregarded groups. If there is a maximum of one adult left, then a discount may apply.

We may need to decide where someone's main home is if, for example, they work away from home or have more than one home.

When deciding how many adults are resident, certain occupants can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.
  • Full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees
  • Patients resident in hospital
  • People who are being looked after in care homes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19-year-olds who have just left school
  • Care-workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • People caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18
  • Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • Members of religious communities
  • People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
  • People with diplomatic privileges or immunities

Some exemptions apply to occupied properties, whereas others relate to unoccupied properties. Some exemptions run for a limited period of time, whereas others last indefinitely as long as the necessary conditions apply.

These exemptions apply indefinitely to occupied properties:

Class M - Halls of residence provided mainly for the accommodation of students
Class N - Dwellings occupied entirely by full-time students (Please supply a student certificate from the relevant place of study confirming it is a full-time course with the number of hours and the course dates)
Class O - Armed Forces accommodation
Class P - Dwellings where a member of a visiting force would otherwise be liable to pay
Class S - Dwellings occupied only by people under the age of 18
Class U - Properties which are occupied entirely by severely mentally impaired people
Class V - The main residence of someone with diplomatic privilege or immunity
Class W - An annexe occupied by an aged and/or disabled dependent relative of someone who is resident in the main dwelling

These exemptions apply indefinitely to unoccupied properties:

Class D - Unoccupied property where the former occupant is in prison (except for non-payment of a fine or the Council Tax)
Class E - Unoccupied property where the former occupant is now permanently in a care home or hospital
Class G - Dwellings whose occupation is forbidden by law
Class H - Unoccupied property awaiting occupation by a working minister of religion
Class I - Unoccupied property where the former occupant has moved in order to receive personal care
Class J - Dwellings left unoccupied by the former occupant who has moved to provide personal care
Class K - Dwellings where the owner is a student who last lived in the dwelling as their main home
Class L - Dwellings which have been taken into possession by a mortgage lender
Class Q - Dwellings where the liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy
Class R - Pitch or mooring not occupied by a caravan or boat
Class T - Annexes which cannot be let separately from the main dwelling due to planning conditions

These exemptions apply for a limited period only:

Class B - An unoccupied property owned by a charity, which has been unoccupied for less than 6 months and it was last occupied in accordance with the objects of the charity
Class F - Unoccupied property where the former occupant has died and where the personal representatives are awaiting probate or letters of administration, or where less than 6 months have passed since probate or letters of administration have been granted. Please note that this exemption ceases if the property becomes occupied by another person, is transferred to a beneficiary or is sold

Select your local area for more information:

If your area isn't listed, you may be a resident of West Northamptonshire.

Last updated 26 October 2023