Exemptions, discounts & council tax support

You may be eligible for discounts, exemptions and council tax support.

Here you will find out about homes and properties exempt from council tax.

View our classes of exemptions here and follow the appropriate instructions. All relevant forms can be found below, but if you require further information please contact the council tax section by:  
  • If you are granted an exemption, we may send you a review form to check you are still entitled to it. Failure to supply this information could result in removal of the exemption.
  • If you are awarded an exemption and your entitlement ends, you must notify the council within 21 days.
  • If you have applied for an exemption but have not yet received a decision on this application, you must still pay your council tax in accordance with your most recent bill.
  • If you are awarded a time-limited exemption with an expiration date, the council tax bill issued will show the exemption to the end of the financial year. A further bill will be issued immediately before the expiry date, showing the revised council tax liability.
An empty homes premium is now charged on properties which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

The owners of these properties will now have to pay 150% of the council tax charges, except in certain circumstances which are detailed in our discount policy document.
If you require further information on this matter, please contact us by:
Discount for uninhabitable dwellings from 1 April 2018

A vacant dwelling which requires, or is undergoing, major repair works or structural alterations in order to make it habitable may be eligible for a discount of 100%.  A discount will be awarded for a vacant dwelling for up to 12 months, or up to 6 months after works are completed (to a maximum of 12 months in total).  Before a discount can be awarded an inspection of the dwelling will be carried out by the Council.
Each application for discount will be considered on an individual basis and will take into account the physical condition of the dwelling and the nature of the works required to make it habitable.  A discount will end immediately if the dwelling becomes occupied or furnished.

Major repair works include structural repairs and will include:
  • Major repairs to roof structures
  • Rebuilding defective chimney stack(s)
External Walls
  • Rebuilding defective walls
  • Provision of dpc following rebuilding of defective walls
  • Repair/renewal of foundations
  • Underpinning substandard foundations
  • Replacing defective solid floors
  • Replacing defective floor joists
  • Replacing defective staircase
  • Replacing defective ceiling joists
  • Rebuilding defective walls

This definition does not include the following singularly, although a combination of these may be considered:
  • Plumbing or heating
  • Replacement/repairs to sanitary fittings
  • Replacement/repairs to any other fittings/fixtures
  • Rewiring
  • Timber/damp proof treatments
  • Replastering (walls or ceilings)
  • Drainage
  • Repairs or renewals of services
  • Maintenance, e.g. repointing, window/door replacement etc
  • Redecoration
Please click here to download the Uninhabitable Discount form.

For further information, please contact the council tax section on 01670 624884 or email counciltax@northumberland.gov.uk
This reduction is available to disabled people who meet certain criteria.

Send all completed forms to:

Northumberland County Council
Council Tax Section
Wansbeck Square
NE63 9XL

The facilities need to be of major importance to the wellbeing of the disabled person due to the extent of their disability.
To qualify for a reduction, the disabled person must be a resident in a property with one of the following:
  • a room used predominately by the disabled person
This must be a room that is not a kitchen, bathroom, lavatory or bedroom in normal use. For example, the room may be used for housing a dialysis machine or other special equipment.
  • a second bathroom or kitchen
This extra bathroom or kitchen must be essential, or of major importance, to the wellbeing of the disabled person because of the extent of their disability.
  • space to use a wheelchair
This must be space that has been allowed for the disabled person to use a wheelchair indoors.
Once we have your application, an inspections officer will contact you to arrange a time to inspect and assess the property. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application.

If you are awarded disabled band reduction, you will receive a reduction in your council tax equivalent to being charged at the next lowest valuation band.

For example, if you have a Band C property you would be charged council tax of a Band B property. If you are in Band A, your reduction is equivalent to 1/9 the charge of an average Band D property.
There are two types of financial support available to help you to meet your council tax payments - main council tax support and second adult rebate. Only one or the other can be granted, not both. The higher amount of the two will be granted if both types of reductions are applied for.

Changes to Council Tax Support from 1 April 2019 for Working Age Claimants

The Council’s Council Tax Support Scheme currently provides support up to a maximum of 100% for both pensioners and working age claimants.

From 1 April 2019 the level of support for all working age claimants (18 to state retirement pension age) will reduce by 8% to a maximum level of 92%.  This means that if you are of working age and currently receive full council tax support from 1 April 2019 you will have to pay council tax and for those who pay some council tax you will have to pay more.

Pensioners will continue to receive support up to 100% as that element of the scheme is set by the Government and will not change.

Details of how to pay will be included with the council tax bill.  The bill will be issued requesting payment in 10 instalments but this can be increased to 12 providing you contact the council tax department on 0345 600 6400 when you receive your bill. Council tax bills will be issued week commencing 11 March 2019. 

If you wish to claim council tax support or second adult rebate, you can either:
  • download and complete the benefit claim form and return it to the benefits team
  • request this form by calling the contact centre on 0345 600 6400 (charged at local rate).
Support is assessed on the income of the person or persons liable to pay council tax. If your income exceeds the amount the government says you need to live on, a deduction is made from the full amount of support available. A further reduction may be made in respect of other adults living with you.

From 1 April 2019 the level of support for all working age claimants (18 to state retirement pension age) reduced by 8% to a maximum level of 92%.  Pensioners will continue to receive support up to 100% as that element of the scheme is set by the Government and will not change.
This is available where there is only one person liable to pay the council tax and they share their home with another person or persons, on a non-commercial basis.

The amount of second adult rebate granted is not linked to the income of the person liable to pay the council tax, but to the income of the other persons living with them.

You cannot normally claim second adult rebate if you live with your partner.
You may get second adult rebate if the person you share your home with is:
  • not your partner or civil partner
  • aged 18 or over
  • not paying you rent
  • not paying council tax themselves
  • on a low income
  • you may be able to get second adult rebate even if you don't receive council tax support
The reduced amount of council tax you have to pay will be shown on your bill.
If you live on your own, you may be entitled to a 25% discount.

Send all completed forms to:

Northumberland County Council
Council Tax Section
Wansbeck Square
NE63 9XL
If you are the only adult living in your property, you are entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax. An adult is anyone aged 18 years or older. This applies to single occupancy only where it is the sole/main residence, and not if the house is empty.

If you have become the sole adult in your property, as a result of another person moving out, we need a forwarding address for that person to process your discount.

If you have a partner or adult children who work away, they will usually be regarded as living in the family home. Please contact us to be sure.
We urge residents to let us know if they have had a change in their circumstances that would affect their entitlement to the discount.

If you receive a review form, it’s vital you fill it in promptly and accurately. Failure to return the review form may result in your discount being removed. Anyone who knowingly supplies false information may also be liable for a fine.

If you are no longer the only eligible adult living in the property, contact the council tax team on 0345 600 6400 (charged at your local rate).
Certain adults are not counted for council tax purposes.

They are referred to as disregarded persons. This means that when we count the number of people in your property they are ignored.

If there is only one adult resident who is also a disregarded person then a 50% discount may be given e.g. the only adult resident is an apprentice. Depending on the disregard type a full exemption from council tax may be applicable- View our classes of exemptions here 

If there are several adult residents and, after disregarding a person(s), the number of resident adults is only one, a 25% discount can be given e.g. Mother and son are resident but the son is an apprentice.

The categories of disregarded persons can be found here, along with application forms and the evidence required to disregard them from council tax at a particular property.
To apply you will need to download and complete the relevant disregard discount application form or write to the address shown below.

Completed application forms should be sent to:

Northumberland County Council
Council Tax Section,
Wansbeck Square,
NE63 9XL

Please ensure all required evidence and information is provided, as this allows us to process your application quickly and accurately. Applications made without the necessary evidence cannot be processed until it is provided.
Annexes used by the council tax payer of the main dwelling as part of the main dwelling, or annexes which are occupied by a relative of the council tax payer of the main dwelling, will be entitled to a 50% reduction in the amount of council tax payable on the annexe.

  • the annexe must form part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling. For example, the annexe must be within the grounds of the main dwelling, but not necessarily attached to it, and:
  • is being used by the resident of the main dwelling as part of their main home
  • is the main residence of a relative* of the council taxpayer living in the main dwelling
* a relative is defined as: a partner, parent, child, step child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, great grandparent, great grandchild and other relationships as defined in the Council Tax (Reductions for Annexes) (England) Regulations 2013. 

The 50% reduction is in addition to any other discount that the council tax payer or their relative may be entitled to. For example, if an adult son is living in the annexe on his own he will be liable to pay the council tax on the annexe and will be entitled to a 25% single person discount, plus a 50% annexe reduction on the remaining liability.
Applications must be made in writing, including the following information:
  • name
  • address
  • confirmation that they fulfil criteria
  • relationship of person in annexe
  • dates from which discount to apply
Please send to:

Northumberland County Council
Council Tax Section,
Wansbeck Square,
NE63 9XL

For further information, please contact the council tax section on 01670 624884.
If you have been granted any exemption, discount or support that you are not entitled to, or you fail to notify the council within 21 days of a change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement, you could be liable to a civil penalty of £70 or £280. You may also be prosecuted.

To notify us, please include all information regarding your change of circumstance and contact us by: