Richmondshire District Council

If you've been granted any of the above discounts or reliefs that you believe you're not entitled to, you must tell us within 21 days, or you could face a £70 civil penalty.

A council tax bill is calculated as if two or more adults live in the property. But if only one adult over 18 lives there, a 25% single person discount applies.

Certain people aren't counted when it comes to council tax calculations.

These include:

  • Someone on remand or in prison
  • Severely mentally impaired people
  • Someone for whom child benefit is payable
  • School and college leavers
  • Student nurses
  • Apprentices
  • Students
  • Foreign spouses of students
  • Youth training trainees
  • Patients living in hospital
  • Certain types of carer
  • Patients living in care homes, nursing homes, mental nursing homes and hostels providing a high level of care
  • Members of religious communities
  • Diplomats, members of visiting forces, international HQs and defence organisations
  • People staying in certain hostels or night shelters

Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties 

Properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished may be entitled to a 100% discount for the first month, starting on the day the furniture is removed.

Discounts are no longer available for properties that need, or are undergoing, major repair or structural alterations.

Unoccupied caravans and boats qualify for a 50% discount for up to six months.

Discount for flooded homes

We have our own discount scheme to help those who have suffered from weather-related flooding.

Any discount awarded is for a fixed period of up to 12 months.

Contact for more information on this discretionary discount.

There is a special discount scheme available for those affected by the severe weather incident of 30 July 2019.

Second homes: job-related absence

A second home is entitled to a 50% discount if the council taxpayer is unable to live there because of a condition in their employment contract which says they must live somewhere else. Examples include a publican, residential school caretaker or Forces personnel posted on a tour of duty.

To qualify, both properties must be furnished, be in England, Wales or Scotland, and the applicant must be responsible for the council tax payment on each home (unless the property is provided by the ministry of defence or for a minister of religion to perform his duties).

Family annexes

A 50% council tax reduction, on top of any other discount, applies if:

  • The annexe forms part of a single property, which includes at least one other dwelling, and is being used by a resident of that other dwelling, or is the sole or main residence of a relative of the person who's liable to pay council tax for that other dwelling.

Council tax premium for long term empty properties

An additional amount of council tax (a premium) is charged when a property has been empty for two years or more. The premium is set at 50%.

Long term empty properties, which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least two years, will pay a 50% council tax premium, making a total charge of 150% on the set council tax.

As this premium applies to the property, a change of ownership or tenancy will not affect the premium. If when you purchased or leased your property it had already been empty and unfurnished for two years or more, you will have to pay a 150% council tax charge. The additional charge can only be removed by bringing your property back into use.

If the premium affects you we will send you a new council tax bill.

Properties not affected

There are two types of property that are not affected by the premium:

  • Property which is left empty by a member of the armed services, who is away from the property as a result of their service.
  • Property which forms part of a single property. For example, an annexe.

If your bill shows a long term empty premium and you think that your property is in one of these categories please contact us straight away.

How to end the premium charge

To end the premium charge, you must bring the property back into use.

If you bring your property back into use, or have already done so but forgot to notify the council at the time, please contact us so we can arrange an appointment to visit your property.

Please note that if the property has been occupied for a short period of time, we will treat it as not having been occupied for the purposes of calculating the two year period.

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