Discounts and disabled band relief

Information on the qualification criteria for a Council Tax discounts.

When calculating the Council Tax charge, we count the number of adults who have their sole or main home at the property because the charge is based on there being two or more adult occupiers.

If there is just one person occupying a property, a 25% sole occupancy discount may be granted.

Sole occupiers

Eligibility

If there is just one person occupying a property, a 25% sole occupancy discount may be granted.

You can only claim a sole occupancy discount at your sole or main residence and you must tell us if you have a home elsewhere.

How to apply

To apply for a sole occupancy discount, you can complete our online application form where you can also cancel a sole occupancy discount.

Apply for a single person discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Annexes

Eligibility

Annexes occupied as an extension of family living or where the annexe is occupied by a qualifying relative, a 50% Council Tax discount will apply after any other discount or reduction is applied.

For the purposes of Council Tax an annexe is defined as a dwelling which forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling and which may not be let separately from that other dwelling without a breach of planning controls.

For the purposes of the family annexe discount, relatives include spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece (including older generations of each e.g. great grandparent). Relatives by marriage or civil partnership and two people living together as if they were married or in a civil partnership will be treated as though the couple were married or in a civil partnership. The stepchild of a person shall be treated as his/her child.

This annexe discount was introduced on 01 April 2014 and can be applied from that date. The discount can continue for the whole of the period while the conditions of the discount are met.

How to apply

If your annexe is occupied as an extension of family living or where or is occupied by a qualifying relative, you can complete our online application form to apply for an annexe discount.

Apply for an annex discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Disabled band reduction

Having a disability doesn't in itself entitle you to a Council Tax reduction. However, disabled people can be helped with their Council Tax through the disabled band reduction scheme. The disabled person can be either an adult or a child and they do not have to be responsible for paying the Council Tax bill. If awarded, the Council Tax is reduced by the equivalent of one valuation band and the reduction applies to the billing year in which the application is made.

Once awarded, the disabled band reduction is reviewed once a year to confirm continued eligibility.

The application must be supported by a letter from a GP or similar healthcare professional such as an occupational therapist and we sometimes visit the property as part of the assessment.

Eligibility

To qualify for a disabled band reduction, the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person and must also have at least one of the following:

  • an additional bathroom or kitchen which is essential to meet the needs of the disabled person
  • a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) which is essential to meet the needs of the disabled person and used predominantly by them
  • extra space inside the property to allow for the use of a wheelchair indoors

The room, bathroom, kitchen or wheelchair must be essential or of major importance to the disabled person's well-being, due to the extent of their disability.

An extra room does not need to have been specially built or adapted but your home will not qualify for a reduction unless the 'essential or of major importance' test above is met. Simply rearranging rooms to create a bedroom downstairs is unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria and wheelchairs used outdoors only do not meet the criteria.

How to apply

If you meet at least one of the criteria above, please complete our online application form. You will need to provide a letter form a GP or similar healthcare professional in support of your application and this can be sent by post to the Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER or by email to revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk.

Apply for a disability band reduction

When making an assessment we may need to visit the property, so please ensure you provide a contact number when applying.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.
 



Disregard discounts

Additionally, certain adults are not counted for the purposes of Council Tax so disregarding them may also reduce the Council Tax bill.

If you are disregarded it means that we do not 'count' you when we work out the number of people in the household. If all the residents are disregarded a 50% discount may be granted. However, if there are two or more residents in a household who are not disregarded, the discount will not apply and the full Council Tax charge will be payable.

The following people can be disregarded for Council Tax purposes:

Apprentices

Eligibility

For the purposes of Council Tax, apprentices can be disregarded if they are employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation and for that purpose be undertaking a programme of training leading to a qualification accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The apprentice must be paid a salary, be in receipt of an allowance or both is substantially less than the salary they would be likely to receive if they had achieved the qualification in question. They must not be receiving more than £195 per week.

How to apply

If you are an apprentice that meets the criteria above, you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount. You can complete our online application form and you will need to forward a letter from your employer confirming your apprenticeship and weekly wages.

Apply for an apprentice discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Care leavers

From the 01 April 2020 Uttlesford District Council introduced a Council Tax discount for care leavers aged up to 21 who live within the district. This discount applies to care leavers who either live alone, live with other care leavers or if they have joined an existing household.

A household occupied only by care leavers will be given sufficient discretionary relief to ensure that they pay no Council Tax.

If the care leaver has joined another household, we will reduce their Council Tax so that the liability of the household is the same as it would have been before the care leaver moved in. We will award enough discretionary relief to ensure that the Council Tax liability does not increase as a result of them moving in.

Eligibility

For the purpose of this discount a care leaver is defined as a person aged up to 21 years who has:

  • been looked after by Essex County Council for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date; or
  • is entitled to leaving care support from Essex County Council.

Care leavers and those in their household are required to take steps to reduce their Council Tax bill by making a claim for any applicable discounts or exemptions and Council Tax Reduction (CTR) before the care leavers discount amount can be calculated. For example, if they live alone and have a low income or are claiming a state benefit, they must first claim a 25% sole occupancy discount and apply for CTR.

How to apply

If you are an eligible care leaver or a care leaver has joined your household, please complete our online application form and we will be in touch if we need any further information.

Apply for a care leavers discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Carers discount

Eligibility

In some circumstances, carers and care workers can be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax if they meet certain criteria.

  • Unpaid carers can be disregarded if they are resident in the same dwelling as the person they are caring for and are providing that care for at least 35 hours a week on average. The person being cared for must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit (higher rate attendance allowance, the middle or highest rate of the care component of a disability living allowance, an increase in the rate of disablement pension or an increase in a constant attendance allowance) and the carer must not be a disqualified relative. The spouse or partner of the person being cared for or their parent if the child below the age of 18 years would be a disqualified relative.
  • A care worker can be disregarded if they are providing care or support on behalf of a relevant body; employed to provide such care or support by the person to whom it is provided and to whom he was introduced by a relevant body. They must be engaged or employed to do so for at least 24 hours a week; and in receipt of not more than £44 remuneration a week.

How to apply

If you are a carer or careworker, resident with the person you're caring for and you meet the criteria above, a Council Tax discount may apply so please complete our online application form.

Apply for a carers reduction

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Diplomats

Eligibility

A property where a diplomat is liable to pay the Council Tax is exempt; however, where a diplomat lives in the home of another person who is liable to pay Council Tax, the diplomat is disregarded.

A diplomat is defined as a person:

  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964;
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1966;
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Consular Relations Act 1968;
  • who is within a class of persons mentioned in relation to any organisation specified in an Order in Council made under the International Organisations Act 1968;
  • on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1985;
  • is the head of any office described in the Hong Kong Economic Trade Act 1966

A diplomat who is a British citizen does not qualify, even if they are stationed abroad.

How to apply

If you believe your household falls into any of the categories listed above, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances and we will be in touch with further advice.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Foreign language assistants

Eligibility

Foreign Language Assistants can be treated the same as full-time students for the purposes of Council Tax if they employed as a Foreign Language Assistant by a school or other educational establishment within the UK and are enrolled with the British Council.

How to apply

If you are a Foreign Language Assistant and meet the criteria above, please email us at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk with your name, address and contact details. Please also provide confirmation that you are registered with the British Council and a letter form the school confirming your employment.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Full-time students

Eligibility

For the purposes of Council Tax, a person is a full-time student if they are undertaking a full-time course at a prescribed educational establishment. The course must be at least one academic year or one calendar year in duration. The associated periods of tuition, study or work experience must total at least 24 weeks in each academic year which taken together amount to an average of at least 21 hours.

A foreign student's spouse or dependents who are prevented from working or claiming benefit may also be disregarded for discount or exemption purposes.

How to apply

If you are undertaking a course that meets the criteria above, you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount. You can complete our online application form and will need to attach a certificate from your educational establishment. The student certificate must include the student's full name, date of birth along with the mode of study and duration of the course.

Apply for a full-time student discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Members of visiting forces

Eligibility

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are associated with a body, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country, to which the Act applies.

The association is defined within the Visiting Forces Act 1952.

A person has a relevant association with a visiting force if he or she is:

  • a member of that force, or a member of a civilian component of the force or
  • a dependant of a member, provided that the dependant is not a British citizen or is not ordinarily resident in the UK.

If the person associated with a visiting force would otherwise be liable to pay the Council Tax, the property is exempt, even though other people may also live there.

This disregard discount applies where the person associated with the visiting force is not a liable person for Council Tax (for example, where a member of a visiting force is lodging in a property).

How to apply

If you think your household falls into this category, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances . You will need to provide a copy of your orders and a letter from your commanding officer confirming the duration of your posting. Please also provide your name, address and contact details.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Persons in detention

Eligibility

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are:

  • detained in a prison, a hospital or any other place under a court order;
  • or detained under immigration controls;
  • or detained under the mental health acts;
  • or a member of the armed forces detained in accordance with armed forces legislation.

If a person is detained for non-payment of Council Tax or non-payment of a fine related to Council Tax, they are not disregarded.

How to apply

To apply for this discount because a member of your household has been detained in prison, please complete our online application form. We will be in touch if we need any further information.

Apply for a persons in detention discount

If a person is being detained under any of the other circumstances listed above, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances and we will be in touch with further advice. Please provide your name, address and contact details.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

School or college students and leavers

Eligibility

Where an occupier is aged 18 years or over but Child Benefit entitlement continues, they are disregarded for Council Tax purposes.

A person aged 18 or 19 undertaking a qualifying course of education that exceeds 12 hours per week can be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax from their 18th birthday and for the duration of their studies. If they leave school or college between 1st May and 31st October, the disregard discount can be extended until 31st October of that year.

How to apply

To apply for this discount, please complete our online application form.

Apply for a school or college student and leavers discount

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Severely mentally impaired

Eligibility

A person who is severely mentally impaired and entitled to a relevant benefit can be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax. If they live alone, their property would be exempt from the Council Tax charge and if they do not live alone a 25% disregard discount can be awarded if there is only one other adult in the household.

A person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent.

The exemption or disregard discount can be applied from the time when there is a both a diagnosis and payment of relevant benefit in place simultaneously and we would always backdate if the appropriate diagnosis and benefit award are documented.

How to apply

To apply for this discount, please complete our online application form

Apply for a severely mentally impaired discount

You will need to provide a letter form a GP in support of your application and to confirm the date of the diagnosis. This can be sent by email to revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk or by post to the Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Other Council Tax disregard discounts

Certain other adults are not counted for the purposes of Council Tax so disregarding them may reduce the Council Tax bill.

  • Patients who are resident in a hospital (discount is applied to the hospital)
  • Patients who are being looked after in a care home (discount is applied to the care home)
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters. (discount is applied to the hostel)
  • Members of religious communities eg. monks or nuns.

How to apply

If you think you fall into any of the categories listed above, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances and we will be in touch for any further information.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.