Wealden District Council
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Council Tax Discounts

Empty property charges

From April 1st 2023, all empty and unfurnished properties will no longer receive a 100 per cent discount to their council tax charge for a period of one month. 

There will also no longer be a 50 per cent reduction in council tax liability for properties that are undergoing renovations that render them uninhabitable. 

Long Term Empty Premiums

As agreed at full council on the 21st of February 2024, properties that have been empty for between 1 and 5 years will be subject to a 100% premium on top of the council tax charge. This will affect dwellings which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

For properties that remain empty between 5 and 10 years the premium will rise to 200 per cent, with a 300 per cent premium being applied to any property that has been empty for 10 years or more.

Council Tax Discounts

There are a number of discounts that may be available for Council Tax, details of which can be found below.

If you are currently in receipt of a discount and your circumstances change, you must notify the Council Tax department within 21 days of the change.  If you fail to tell us about the change, you may be liable for a penalty. 

If you are on a low income you may be able to get Council Tax Reduction. Even if you have any of the discounts below, you can still apply for Council Tax Reduction.

Use our benefit calculator to see if you potentially eligible for any financial assistance.

There are various discounts that can reduce the Council Tax you have to pay and are separate from Council Tax Benefit/Support.

The Council Tax charge is based on two or more adults living in the property. If only one adult lives in a property as their main home, there is a reduction of one quarter (25%).  For substantially unfurnished second or long term empty homes and properties that are furnished second homes there is no discount.

If you don’t live alone you could still claim a discount if the other adults are not counted for council tax when we calculate the bill, we would call this a “disregard discount”. Further information on disregard discount categories can be found below.

If you think you should be entitled to a discount you can complete our online single person discount form .

If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must tell the Council of any change in circumstances which affects your entitlement.

Disabled relief is available to council taxpayers if their property contains a special feature, such as an extra room or space to use a wheelchair, or bathroom which is for a disabled person (adult or child) who lives in their home. The relief will be allowed by treating the property as if it were in the next lower valuation band. If your property has already been placed in a lower band this will be indicated on your bill. If you think you may be entitled to disabled relief reduction you should contact the Council Tax team.
Where child benefit remains payable for a time after a young person becomes 18 they will be disregarded for discount purposes until entitlement to child benefit ceases.  (If the young person is also a school or college leaver, disregard may continue under the above category until 1st November).

A student is a person (of any age) enrolled in a full-time course of further education at a prescribed educational establishment or a person under the age of 20 enrolled in certain qualifying courses defined in Council Tax regulations. A full-time course must last for at least a year and require minimum periods of study.

A student nurse is a person following a course leading to registration under the Nurses, Midwives, and Health Visitors Act 1979.

An apprentice is someone, regardless of age, employed for the purpose of learning a trade or profession, who is paid less than £195 per week and is undertaking a training programme leading to an accredited qualification.

A YT trainee is a person aged under 25 who is undertaking an approved training scheme recognised by the Department of Work & Pensions (DWS) .

Providing care for a person living in the same household who receives certain specified state benefits but who is not a spouse or a dependant child of the carer.
People who have their main place of residence in a National Health Service hospital.  This does not include temporary hospital stay.
People who are temporarily resident in a hostel for the homeless.
A member of a religious community where the principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering.
A person not a British Citizen, who is the spouse or dependant of a student and is not permitted to work or obtain benefits.
A person living in a residential care home, nursing home, mental nursing home or hostel who is receiving care or treatment in the home.
A person who is detained by order of a court, whether they are in prison, hospital or any other place.  This does not include a person who is in police custody, until they are remanded in custody by a court.

Providing care through a connection with a local authority or a charity for at  least 24 hours per week for pay of £44 a week or less and living at or near where the care is provided.

Permanent impairment of intelligence and social functioning (certified by a doctor) and in receipt of specified state benefits.
A member or dependant of a member, of a visiting force from a nation included under the Visiting Forces Act 1952.