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Durham County Council

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Council tax discounts


Council tax bills generally assume that there are two or more adults living in a property. However, there are a range of discounts available.

Single person discount

If you are the only person, aged 18 or over, who is solely or mainly resident in a property, we can give you a single person discount of 25%.

If you think you may be entitled to a discount, download and complete the single person discount form.

Single persons council tax discount form (PDF, 30kb)

If you'd like to apply for a single person discount due to a recent separation, please complete the following form instead:

Single persons recently separated council tax discount form (PDF, 38kb)

Family annexe discount

From 1 April 2014 a new family annexe discount has been introduced. A 50% discount would apply if the annexe is used by the occupier of the main building or a member of his/her family. Please contact us for more information. 

People not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax

There are certain groups of people who are not counted when deciding how many people live in a property which could have an affect on how much council tax you pay.

  • 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 and night shelters
  • 18 to 19-year olds who are at, or have just left, school
  • care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not their spouse, partner, or child under 18-years-old
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • members of religious communities (e.g. monks/nuns)
  • people in prison (except for non-payment of council tax or a fine)
  • non-British spouses of students
  • people with diplomatic immunity
  • persons in respect of whom child benefit is payable.

Students

Where students are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Those people classed as students are not counted, provided:

  • he/she is under 20-years-old, studying for more than three months and for at least 12 hours a week for any qualification up to A-Level or equivalent
  • they are undertaking a college, polytechnic or university course lasting at least one academic or calendar year and which requires at least 21 hours per week of study, tuition or work experience
  • they are a foreign language assistant registered with the British Council

Note about school or college leavers under 20-years-old

A person under the age of 20 who has left school, college or full time education on or after the 1 May in any year after undertaking a qualifying course of education (for example, one no higher than A-level or equivalent) is disregarded for the purpose of working out a discount during the period 1 May to 31 October in the same year. School and college leavers continue not to be counted if they go on to some other form of higher education.

Student nurses

Where student nurses are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Nursing and midwifery students, including those on pre-registration undergraduate courses and post-registration health visitor training, count as students. For discount purposes a student nurse means a person undertaking a course which if successfully completed, would lead to registration under the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997.Student nurses taking traditional hospital based training do not count as students.

To apply for a student or student nurse council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

Student and student nurse council tax discount form (PDF, 149kb)

 

Apprentices

Where apprentices are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Apprentices are disregarded for the purposes of a discount providing they are:

  • employed for the purposes of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation
  • undertaking a programme of training leading to an accredited qualification
  • receiving a salary or allowance (or both) which, in total are substantially less than the salary likely to be received if the qualification in question were obtained and no more than £195 per week before any deductions for tax or national insurance.

To apply for an apprentice council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

Apprentice and National Traineeship trainee council tax discount form (PDF, 126kb)

National Traineeship trainees

Where National Traineeship trainees are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

People under 25-years-old and receiving training in line with an individual training plan under this scheme are also disregarded for the purposes of a discount. Individual training plans issued by the training provider and showing the course start and end dates is evidence of trainee status.

To apply for an apprentice or national traineeship council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

Apprentice and National Traineeship trainee council tax discount form (PDF, 126kb)

Carers

Where carers are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Carers are disregarded for the purpose of a discount if providing care or support to another person:

  • on behalf of an official or charitable body, or
  • when employed by the person being cared for to provide care and support and was introduced by a charitable body, or
  • where caring for someone in receipt of certain benefits. To qualify, the person you're caring for cannot be your spouse, partner or child under the age of 18 (please see the application form for more details)

To apply for a carer's Council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

Carers council tax discount form (PDF, 33kb)

People in prison / detention

Where people in prison / detention are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Usually people in prison or in some other form of detention are no longer solely or mainly resident in a dwelling and are ignored for the purposes of a discount. Dwellings left empty by someone in detention are exempt from council tax. However, where the period of detention is for such a short period, the person is still considered to mainly occupy the dwelling and a disregard applies where the person is:

  • detained under deportation provisions of the Immigration Act 1971
  • detained in a prison, a hospital or other place by a court
  • detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (1984 Scotland)
  • imprisoned, detained or in custody (but not in custody under open arrest for the purposes of the Queen's Regulations) for more than 48 hours under the Army Act 1955, Air force Act 1955, or the Naval Discipline Act 1957.

People in police custody before their first court appearance, or detained for non-payment of council tax or non-payment of a fine are not treated as being detained for discount purposes.

To apply for an in prison / detention council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

Prisoners and people in detention council tax discount form (PDF, 158kb)

 

Severely mentally impaired

Where the severely mentally impaired are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

People are considered severely mentally impaired for council tax purposes where they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning, however caused, which appears to be permanent. People severely impaired as a result of a degenerative brain disorder such as Alzheimer's disease, a stroke or other form of dementia. To count as severely mentally impaired the person concerned must have a certificate of confirmation from a registered medical practitioner. In addition, to qualify for a discount the person must also be entitled to certain benefits.

To apply for a severe mental impairment council tax discount, download and complete the form below:

People with severe mental impairment council tax discount form (PDF, 169kb)

People over 18 years old in receipt of child benefit

Where people over 18 years old in receipt of child benefit are not counted (disregarded) when calculating council tax.

Where child benefit continues to be paid after the age of 18 years (usually where full time education continues) an application to disregard the person concerned for the purposes of a council tax discount can be applied for. 

To apply for a discount for a person over 18-years-old in receipt of child benefit, download and complete the form below:

Over 18s in receipt of child benefit council tax discount form (PDF, 30kb)

What if a discount is no longer applicable or should not have been granted?

Failure to notify us that a discount should not have been granted or that it is no longer applicable could lead to financial penalties being applied to the liable person concerned in addition to the disregard being revoked. See our Report changes affecting your council tax page for more information.