Council Tax Discounts

Single Person Discount / Disregarded Persons

If your property is your sole or main residence and you are the only occupant living at the property, who is over 18 years of age, then you could be eligible for a 25% Single Person Discount.

In addition the, following people (this may include the person liable for payment) may be ignored (“disregarded”) when counting the number of adults living in the property if they meet the relevant criteria:

  • full-time students, student nurses, foreign language assistants and apprentices
  • patients resident in a hospital
  • people who are resident in a care home
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • school leavers under 20 who finish a full time course of education between 1st May and 31st October
  • 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
  • diplomats and members of visiting forces and certain international organisations
  • members of religious communities
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
  • family annexes occupied by relatives or used as part of the main dwelling

Discounts have been granted based on existing council tax records and will be shown on the front of your bill. If you have not been allowed a discount but think you are entitled to one, you should let us know.

Please confirm your situation by emailing us at localtax@lewes.gov.uk or write to us at Local Tax, Lewes District Council, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB or it's really quick and easy to apply for your council tax discount online. Once you've submitted the form we'll check the details and get back in touch with you to confirm everything. We'll usually contact you within ten working days, but if we're really busy it might take a little longer.

Disabled Residents Relief

We may be able to grant you a relief on your council tax if a resident (adult or child) at the property is disabled.

If there is an extra room in your home with certain features essential to the disabled resident, or the use of a wheelchair is required indoors then you may qualify for relief.
The relief will be in the way of a band reduction on your council tax. This means that your property will be treated as though it was in the next lower valuation band.

An application must be made each year for us to continue to award relief.

To make an application, please contact us on 01273 471600.

Properties undergoing structural alteration or repair (Prescribed Class D)

From the 1st April 2013 if your property is undergoing (or requires) extensive structural alteration or major repair, rendering the property uninhabitable you may be entitled to a 50% discount for a period of up to twelve months, or six months after work has been completed, whichever is sooner.

Properties that are empty and unfurnished (Prescribed Class C)

From the 1st April 2013 if your property is empty and unfurnished, you may receive a 100% discount (which means you have no council tax to pay) for up to one calendar month. The discount relates to the property (not the liable party) so it may not be available if the property has been empty for some time.

After one calendar month full council tax will be charged for an empty property.

Lewes District Council will increase the council tax charge to 150% for properties that have been empty and unfurnished for two or more years. (Please note that Annexes and those in the Armed Forces will not be affected by this increase).

Long Term Empty Property Premium

This allows local Authorities to set an additional amount of council tax (a "premium") to be paid when a property has been empty for at least two years.

The Council has set the maximum 50% premium, meaning that if your property has been empty and unfurnished for at least two years,  the charge will increase to 150%. The aim of this is to try and reduce the number of long-term empty properties in our area, in order to get as many homes as possible back into use for local people.

Second Homes

From 01 April 2013 this discount was removed and you will be required to pay a full council tax charge for your second home.

However, if you live in, and pay Council Tax for a property which your employer requires you to live in (as per your contract of employment) you may be able to claim a 50% discount if you are liable for council tax on a second furnished property.

Apply for a discount

It's really quick and easy to apply for your council tax discount online. Once you've submitted the form we'll check the details and get back in touch with you to confirm everything. We'll usually contact you within ten working days, but if we're really busy it might take a little longer.

If your circumstances change you must tell us within 21 days of the change. If you do not you could be liable to a penalty.

Council Tax Exemptions

In certain circumstances you may not have to pay council tax. Exemptions can apply to both occupied and unoccupied properties, some of which have a maximum time limit of six months.

The term "unoccupied" means that no one lives in a property. "Vacant" means that a property is unoccupied and has no furniture in it. Once you have been granted an exemption you must tell us of any changes in circumstances.

Exemption Types

B - An unoccupied property owned and last occupied by a charity.
D - An unoccupied property where the liable person is in prison or detention.
E - An unoccupied property where the liable person has their sole or main residence in a rest home, nursing home or hospital.
F - An unoccupied property where the liable person is deceased and probate has not been granted (and up to 6 months after probate).
G - An unoccupied property where occupation is prohibited by law.
H - An unoccupied property awaiting occupation by a minister of religion.
I - An unoccupied property where the liable person is receiving care elsewhere.
J - An unoccupied property where the liable person is giving care to a person elsewhere.
K - An unoccupied property where the liable person is a student residing elsewhere.
L - An unoccupied property where a mortgagee is in possession.
M - A student hall of residence.
N - A property occupied solely by full time students.
O - Armed forces accommodation.
P - Visiting forces accommodation.
Q - An unoccupied property where the liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy.
R - A property consisting of a pitch or a mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or, as the case may be, a boat.
S - A property occupied solely by persons under 18 years of age.
T - Unoccupied annexe that cannot be let separately without a breach of planning control
U - A property that is occupied by one or more severely mentally impaired persons.
V - A property where the liable person is a diplomat.
W - A property occupied by an elderly or disabled dependent relative, which is part of another property (e.g. a Granny Annexe).

If your circumstances change you must tell us within 21 days of the change. If you do not you could be liable to a penalty.