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Council Tax penalties

From 3 June 2019, the Council Tax and Benefits team will apply a penalty of £70 for customers who fail to notify us of a change in their circumstances, which could affect entitlement to a reduction.

For further details, see Penalties.

Single Person Discount

If there is only one adult who has their main home in a dwelling, they will be entitled to 25% discount off their council tax bill.

If you feel that you may be entitled to a single occupier discount please apply using our online Single Persons Discount application form.

Disregarded Persons Discount

Certain categories of person are entitled to be disregarded (that is, not counted) for Council Tax purposes. A discount may be allowed on the Council Tax bill if the number of adults counted as living in the property is less than two. This may result in the dwelling, which is occupied by two or more people being treated as if it was occupied by only one resident, or even no residents. The Council Tax bill for the dwelling will attract a discount of 25% or 50% accordingly.

The following groups of people may be disregarded subject to the necessary proof of entitlement being provided:-

  • full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees

  • people being looked after in care homes

  • people who are severely mentally impaired

  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters

  • 18 and 19 year olds who are at school or have just left school

  • 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

  • members of religious communities

  • people in detention (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine or those being held in police custody until being remanded in custody by a Court)

If your bill indicates that a discount has been allowed, you must tell us within 21 days of any change of circumstances which affects you entitlement. If you fail to do so you may be required to pay a penalty.

If you feel you may be entitled to any of the discounts or disregards listed above please apply using the relevant online form:

Reductions for Disabilities Scheme

If there is a permanently disabled person living in the dwelling as their main home and he/she requires at least one of the following to meet the needs of their disability then there may be a reduction in the Council Tax payable on the property:

  • a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) used mainly by the disabled person
  • an additional bathroom or kitchen for use by the disabled person
  • extra space inside the dwelling to allow for the use of a wheelchair

If the dwelling is eligible, the Council Tax will be reduced to that of a property in the valuation band immediately below that shown in the valuation list. As from 1 April 2000, a reduction will also apply to a Band A property.

If you feel that you may be entitled to a reduction please apply using our online Disabled Banding Reduction form.

Other discounts

Second homes

Second homes in the Mid Devon area receive no longer receive a discount and the full charge is payable.

Unoccupied furnished properties

Unoccupied furnished properties not regarded as second homes will be subject to a 50% unoccupied charge for the first six months and 100% thereafter.

Long term empty properties

Certain properties that have been unoccupied and empty of furniture for longer than six months in the Mid Devon area will no longer be subject to 10% discount and the full charge is payable. The circumstances that this may apply to, include:

  • buy to let properties that are unoccupied but regarded as furnished lets that are awaiting tenants
  • properties that have been left unoccupied, and the owner/occupier no longer has the intention to return to the property and regards their sole and main residence to be elsewhere

To discuss this further please contact us.

The full charge is payable - however please see Exempt dwellings information.

Job-related dwellings

If an employee has been provided with a dwelling by their employer and is required to live in that dwelling for the proper performance of his/her duties, that property may be regarded as a second home providing the occupiers of the job-related dwelling have their sole or main residence elsewhere. In these circumstances 50% Council Tax will be charged. If the job-related dwelling is their sole or main residence, the other home may qualify for a 50% discount.

One of the following conditions must also apply to the job-related dwelling:

  • the duties of the job make it easier for you to live there, or
  • you can carry out your job better by living in the property, and it is usual for employers to provide accommodation in that type of job, or
  • there is a special threat to your security, so special security arrangements have been made and you have to live in the property because of those arrangements, or
  • your contract of employment requires you to live there

Examples of where the discount might apply include:

  • publicans who have their own house but their contracts say they have to live in the pub they run
  • school caretakers who have a home elsewhere but their contracts say they must live on or near the school, in accommodation provided by the employer
  • ministers of religion who have their own home but have to live in other accommodation provided by the church in order to carry out their duties as a minister

Please note that:

  • special rules apply if the employee is a director of the company which employs him/her and lives in a dwelling provided by the company
  • the job-related discount does not apply if a person lives in a dwelling provided by a trade or business partner
  • the job-related discount only applies where both homes concerned are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • you cannot claim Council Tax Reduction for a second property

If you want to apply for this discount please use our online form.


From 1 April 2014, a discount of 50% has been introduced for annexes which are:

  • occupied by a relative of the person liable to pay the Council Tax of the main dwelling; or
  • unoccupied as the person living in the main dwelling is using the annexe as part of their main home

This change makes it possible for persons under the age of 65 to obtain a discount if they are resident in an annexe and related to the person paying the Council Tax on the main dwelling.

The following annexes are already exempt from Council Tax and will not be affected by this new relief:

  • occupied by a dependant relative; or
  • unoccupied and cannot be let separately from the main dwelling without a breach of planning control

To apply for this, please download, print out complete and return the Annexe Discount Application form.

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