Who should pay Council Tax

Find out who is responsible for paying Council Tax and if you're exempt from paying.

Guide Navigation

Skip Guide Navigation Contents

Who is exempt

There are various circumstances whereby you do not have to pay Council Tax.

Exemptions relating to your personal circumstances

You do not need to pay Council Tax if you are:

  • under 18
  • severely mentally impaired
  • in prison or detention – except for non-payment of local tax or fines
  • a school or college leaver
  • a full-time student
  • a student nurse
  • an apprentice or youth training trainee
  • receiving care in a registered care home
  • a resident of a hostel
  • a member of a religious community who is dependant on the community and has no personal income
  • a non-British spouse of a full time student whose visa restricts work or claiming benefits 
  • 18 or 19 years old and receive child benefit
  • a long-term hospital patient
  • receiving or giving care elsewhere
  • a member or dependant of an international headquarters or a defence organisation
  • a member or dependent of visiting forces
  • someone with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Care workers
  • Carers (unpaid carers subject to certain conditions)


If you live on your own, are a full-time student, or a person with a disability, you could be eligible for a discount on your Council Tax bill.

Exemptions relating to the property

You do not need to pay Council Tax if the property is:

  • armed forces accommodation owned by the Secretary of State for Defence
  • waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • an unoccupied annexe - a self-contained unit that forms part of a larger property and cannot be let separately from the main property because of planning restrictions
  • an annexe occupied by a relative can receive a 50% reduction 
  • an annexe occupied by a dependent relative - a dependant is defined as over 65, or under 65 and severely mentally impaired or disabled
  • an empty caravan pitch or houseboat mooring
  • occupation of the property is prohibited by law 
  • in the hands of an executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased person (either probate has yet to be granted or it is less than 6 months since probate was granted)
  • repossessed by the mortgage lender
  • owned by a charity and has been empty for less than 6 months
  • Left empty by a student
  • Empty property in hands of a trustee in bankruptcy

Apply for exemption

To apply, complete the online exemption form.

Start now

If you've already applied and are now exempt

We will automatically apply the exemption to your Council Tax bill for the next year.