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Cardiff Council

Council Tax reductions

Council Tax reduction

Council tax band reduction

Care Leavers

Disabled persons' reduction

Severely Mentally Impaired
Single person discount
Discounts for people who aren't counted
Student exemption

Properties occupied solely by care leavers​
Unoccupied properties


Council tax band reduction

If you think you may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax band, contact the Valuation Office Agency​Link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window for free – don’t pay a company to do this for you.

Care Leavers  

From 1st April 2019 the Welsh Government introduced a new reduction from council tax for care leavers. A care leaver may be exempt from having to pay​ if they live on their own or solely with other care leavers or students. If they live with other adults then they may be eligible for a 25% disregard reduction.​

A care leaver is aged 24 or under and is a category 3 young person as defined by section 104 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

For further information, please contact us.​

Disabled persons’ reduction

In this context Disabled Person refers to a person who is substantially and permanently disabled. They can be an adult or a child and do not have to be responsible for paying the Council Tax bill. 


You may qualify for a Disabled Person’s reduction if your property has at least one of the following:


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


The room or wheelchair must be essential, or of major importance to the disabled person's well-being. Wheelchairs for outdoor use only are excluded.


An extra room does not need to have been specially built, but your home will not qualify for a reduction unless the room is essential or of major importance to the disabled person.


Download our Guide to Disabled Persons' Council Tax Reduction (22kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​ 


This reduction means your property will be considered in the valuation band immediately below the actual band shown in the valuation list. For example, if you live in a property that is in band C, this reduction will take the property down to band B. 


If your property is in band A your bill will be reduced by a fixed percentage.


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Severely Mentally Impaired​

Anyone who is medically certified as having a severe impairment of their intellectual or social functioning, that appears to be permanent, may be eligible to a Council Tax discount. This means that the person will have a permanent condition that severely affects their intellectual and social functioning. 

Conditions that can lead to severe mental impairment include Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, severe learning difficulties or a stroke, but many others may apply. To be eligible, the person must be diagnosed as SMI by a doctor and must also be entitled to one of the benefits listed on this form (whether receiving them or not). 

Level of reduction: 

  • ​If you have been diagnosed as SMI by a doctor and you are living alone or only with others who are SMI, you will be exempt from paying Council Tax.
  • If you have been diagnosed as SMI by a doctor and you live with one adult who is eligible to pay council tax, your household will receive a 25% reduction. 
  • If you have been diagnosed as SMI by a doctor and you live with 2 or more adults who are eligible to pay council tax there will be no reduction.


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Single persons’ discount

A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living at a property. 


You may get 25% off your bill if you live on your own and count as an adult liable for Council Tax.


You may also get a discount if you live with people who don’t count as adults liable for Council Tax. See a list of people who are not counted for Council Tax.



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Discounts for people who are not counted

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults living at a property:


  • full time students
  • student nurses
  • apprentices and youth training trainees (apprentices must earn under £195 per week​)
  • patients in hospital
  • patients in care homes
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people who are staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19 year olds who are still 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 husband or wife, partner or child under 18
  • members of religious communities (e.g. monks and nuns)
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
  • people aged over 18 and entitled to child benefit
  • members and dependants of visiting forces
  • non British husband or wife of a student
  • diplomats
  • care leavers 


The Council Tax bill for a property where one of two residents is not counted will be the same as that for a property with only one resident. That is, you will get a 25% discount.


If someone who is not counted lives alone, or only with others who are not counted, a 50% discount applies.


N.B. where a property is solely occupied by students, care leavers or severely mentally impaired persons or any combination of these an exemption may apply.


For further information, please contact us.


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Student exemption

If you are a student you may be exempt from paying Council Tax.


To count as a full-time student, your course must:


  • last at least 1 calendar or academic year
  • require you to undertake it for at least 24 weeks a year
  • involve at least 21 hours' study, tuition or work experience per week.


If you study for a qualification up to A level and you are under 20, your course must:


  • last at least 3 months
  • involve at least 12 hours' study per week


To make sure you are not made liable for the payment, you need to get a Council Tax certificate from the Registrar at your university or college and send it to us at:


Cardiff Council
Council Tax Section
PO Box 9000
CF10 3WD


Please remember to include details of your council tax account number (if applicable), and your name and address in Cardiff.



Husband or wife and dependants of students


The husband or wife and dependants of an international student should also be treated as if they are full-time students provided they are:


  • not a British citizen, and
  • prevented by immigration regulations from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits whilst living in the UK.


If you are a husband or wife of a student you will need to provide a copy of your passport or visa.


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Unoccupied properties

There is an exemption from the charge for up to six months for properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, and until 31st March 2019 this is followed by a charge of 50% after the exemption has finished. 

With effect from 1st April 2019 the Council has decided to remove this discount which means that there will be a full charge after the exemption has finished.  In addition to this, the Council has also decided to charge a further 50% premium where a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than a year which means that the charge will then increase to 150%.

There are certain properties that are excluded from the 50% premium charge. 

They are:

  • ​Properties marketed for sale or let – this is time limited to one year
  • ​Annexes forming part of a main property
  • Property which would be someone’s residence if they were not residing in armed forces accommodation.


Which properties are exempt?


To be classed as substantially unfurnished there cannot be any furniture or furnishings at the property other than carpets, curtains and items that are fixtures.

In order to grant this exemption, we may need to arrange a visit to your property. We can also request to inspect the property at any time after the exemption has been granted.

NB the period of the exemption begins from the date that furniture is removed from the unoccupied property regardless of any changes in liability or ownership


Unoccupied and substantially furnished properties and second homes


There is no discount for unoccupied and substantially furnished properties or second homes unless one of the following applies:​


  • it is a pitch occupied by a caravan or mooring occupied by a boat;
  • the liable person is also the liable person at another property which is job related, for example a publican;
  • where the liable person is a member of the armed forces and another home is provided for them by the Ministry of Defence;
  • the liable person has passed away and either no grant of probate has been made or less than 12 months have passed since the grant was made.


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