By accessing our wide range of 24/7 online services
By emailing directly to the relevant service
By phoning First Contact on 01268 882200 (8.45am to 5.15pm Mon to Thurs, and to 4.45pm on Fri).
By pre-booked appointment at the Kiln Road office (9.00am to 4.00pm Mon to Fri) - these can be arranged by phoning First Contact on 01268 882200.
The following dwellings are exempt if they are:
The following dwellings are exempt for a limited period:
The following dwellings are exempt while they remain unoccupied:
Will I get a bill for an exempt dwelling?
If you own one of these types of dwelling you should still receive a council tax bill for it. This will give you information to let you know which valuation band the property has been placed in, what the council tax would be if it were not exempt and where appropriate the time limit of the exemption.
If the Council writes to tell you that it believes your property is exempt, but you realise that it should not be, you must write and tell the council or you may face a penalty. Alternatively please telephone the Council on 01268 882200 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I do if the Council says my property is not exempt?
If the Council decides your dwelling is not exempt and you disagree, you should write to the Council saying why you think your property should be exempt. The Council has two months to provide an answer. If you still disagree with the Council, or if it has not acted within the two month period, you can appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. You should continue to pay your original bill while your appeal is outstanding.
From 1st April 2004 the council made the decision that any unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property, after any exemption has expired, will no longer be awarded a discount, and the owner will be liable for 100% of the Council Tax.
Properties that are furnished and used as a second home will be allowed a 10% discount and will be liable for 90% of the Council Tax.
Properties that are left empty because the owner has to live somewhere else because of a clause in their work contract will be awarded 50% discount and will be liable for 50% of the Council Tax. However the property they are now living in must be situated within England, Scotland or Wales.
You may be able to have your Council Tax reduced if you are or have a disabled person living in the property. The reduced Council Tax is given by charging as if the property was in the next lower valuation band. To receive a reduction the law requires that the property must have one of the following:
* This room does not need to have been specially built, but your home will not qualify for a reduction unless the room meets 'the essential or of major importance' test. Simply rearranging rooms (for example, having a bedroom on the ground floor rather than the first floor) is unlikely to make your home eligible for a reduction.
These reductions would be in addition to any award of a discount
If only one adult lives in a property as their main home the bill is reduced by a quarter (25%). The following people are NOT included when counting the number of people who live in a property:
See the Discounts and Disregards page for further information and forms.