Discounts on Council Tax

Single person discount

The full Council Tax bill assumes that there are at least two adults (aged 18 or over) living in a dwelling.

If only one adult lives in a dwelling (as their main home), the Council Tax bill will be reduced by 25%.

If one adult lives in a dwelling full time and a second adult lives there part-time or is temporarily absent, a discount may not be applicable. This is in line with the legal precedent on the subject. To enquire whether your circumstances would qualify, please contact us.

Claim a single person discount

Furnished properties which are no-one's main residence

This includes second homes, holiday homes and properties left unoccupied but furnished between tenancies.

The second home discount (10%) ceased on 1 April 2013. There is now a full council tax charge for properties that fit into this category.

From the 1st April 2025, where a property remains in this category for more than one year and is not otherwise exempt, a premium of 100% of the standard charge from the effective date will be added.

Employment related accommodation where residence of a specific property is required by in the terms of the contract of employment continue to be eligible for a 50% discount  - for example a groundskeeper or caretaker being required to live onsite.

Unfurnished and unoccupied properties

Until the 31st March 2024, an unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property is eligible for a full Council Tax discount (100%) for a maximum of 28 days. A full charge becomes payable after the first 28 days. The discount starts on the first date the property is empty, regardless who owns it, so if you purchase a property which is already empty then you may not qualify for this discount if it has already been granted.

What constitutes substantially unfurnished is not defined in legislation. Our policy is that to not be considered substantially unfurnished, a property would need to be furnished to at least a degree where it could be occupied with more or less full usage, i.e. with at least most of the rooms being furnished to at least a minimal degree that would allow them to be used for their intended usage.

This discount will cease from the 1st April 2024, and there will be a full charge payable from the start on properties in this category from then onwards. Any discounted periods in progress that would have otherwise ended after the 1st April 2024 will instead cease from this date.

Empty property premium

With effect from 1 April 2020, where a property remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years but less than five years and is not otherwise exempt, a premium of 100% of the standard charge from the effective date will be added. With effect from the 1 April 2024, this will be extended to properties that have been in this category for more than one year.

Where a property remains in this category for more than five years, a premium of 200% of the charge from the effective date will be added.

From the 1 April 2021, where a property remains in this category for more than ten years and is not otherwise exempt or prohibited, a premium of 300% of the charge from the effective date will be added.

Disregard discounts

Occupiers in the following categories may be "disregarded" for Council Tax purposes. This gives rise to a reduction if there is only one adult occupier of a property who is not disregarded (25% discount), or if all adult occupiers are disregarded (50% discount, or a full exemption in certain categories):

  • 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 are at or have just left school (discount applicable until the 31st October in the year that they left school, or until they turn 20)
  • careworkers 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 (monks and nuns)
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
  • A person who came into the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship scheme. (To claim the Homes for Ukraine discount, please email council.tax@reigate-banstead.gov.uk

Claim a disregard discount

Please note that a disregard discount is not the same as the single person discount. If you are in receipt of a single person discount as the sole adult occupier with a child or children aged under 18, you will need to notify the Council when they turn 18, even if they are in a disregarded category. A disregard discount will usually require evidence to be provided.

Disabled band reduction

If you, or someone who lives with you, need a room, an extra bathroom or kitchen, or extra space in your property to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduced Council Tax bill. The bill may be reduced to that of a property in the band immediately below the band shown on the valuation list.

These reductions ensure that disabled people do not pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability. For properties in band A, a reduction of 1/9th of the Council Tax bill will apply where the criteria for the disability reduction are met.

The disability reduction is separate from Council Tax Support for low income households. You can apply for, and be entitled to, both depending on the criteria being met. 

Apply for a disabled band reduction

Care leavers

With effect from 1 April 2020, young people leaving care in Reigate & Banstead who are living alone or with other care leavers are eligible for full reduction until their 25th birthday. If they are living with another adult who is not a care leaver, the reduction will be 50%.

Apply for a care leavers discount

Annexes

An annexe or similar self-contained part of a property is likely to be banded separately for Council Tax

An exemption may be applicable on the Council Tax charge for the annexe in the following circumstances: 1. If the annexe is unoccupied and cannot be let separately to the main home without breaching planning conditions; or 2. If the annexe is occupied as their main residence by a dependent relative of someone who is resident in the main dwelling - the dependent relative must be either over the age of 65, severely mentally impaired, or substantially and permanently disabled.

From April 2014, if the annexe is used as part of the main home or occupied by another family member then a 50% discount may be applicable on the Council Tax charge for the annexe. 

Apply for an exemption

Apply for a 50% annexe discount

Changes of circumstances

If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must tell your billing authority 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 penalty of £70.

If you still fail to supply information, a further penalty of up to £280 may be imposed.