If you are the only adult living in your property, we will reduce your bill by 25%. You need to tell us straight away if you think you should be getting SPD. Download an application for SPD below, and return it to:
Central Bedfordshire Council
Single Person Discount application form (PDF 34KB)
We will award SPD for as long as you remain the only adult living in the property. If your circumstances change, you will need to tell us immediately. To find out more about SPD, including answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, download our SPD information sheet.
Single Person Discount information sheet (PDF 48KB)
If your property is empty or is a second home, you will usually be required to pay the full council tax from 1 April 2013. This includes if it is unfurnished, or is undergoing repairs.
Some empty properties can still qualify for an exemption, if they meet some specific requirements - check our council tax exemptions page for more details.
If your property has been empty and substantially unfurnished for two years or more, you will be required to pay the full council tax plus 50 percent extra.
Changes to discounts and exemptions from April 2013
The discounts and exemptions available for second homes and empty properties have changed from 1 April 2013 as part of the localisation of council tax support. You can find out more about all the changes on our local council tax changes page.
Until 31 March 2013, if your property was empty or a second home, it qualified for a 10% reduction in council tax. Unfurnished properties, and properties undergoing repairs may have also qualified for a limited-time exemption.
We will give you a 50% discount on the bill for a second home if it is:
- a job related dwelling, or
- retained whilst you are living in a job related dwelling as your main home,
Your property is classed as a job related dwelling if it is provided to you (or your spouse or civil partner) because of your job, and:
- You need to live at the property to do your job, or
- You are employed in a job where it is customary for employers to provide accommodation, and the accommodation is provided so that you can do your job better, or
- You are required to live in the property by special security arrangements, because there is a threat to your security.
Some examples of job related dwellings are properties occupied by live-in teachers or caretakers, homes owned by publicans who are required to live in their licensed premises, and homes owned by service personnel who live in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence.
If you are suffering hardship as a result of exceptional circumstances, we will consider reducing your council tax with a discretionary discount using our hardship fund. Each case will be decided on its individual merits, but you must meet some or all of the following criteria:
There must be evidence of financial hardship or personal circumstances that justifies a reduction in your council tax liability.
You must satisfy us that you have taken all reasonable steps to resolve your situation prior to applying.
You have applied for localised council tax support.
You have already applied for and been awarded any other discounts or reliefs you are eligible for.
You do not have access to other assets which you could use to pay your council tax.
You must have investigated all other legitimate means of resolving your situation.
Our finances allow for a reduction to be made.
Your situation and reason for your application must be outside of your control.
The amount outstanding must not be the result of wilful refusal to pay or culpable neglect.
In the case of an unoccupied property, it must not be the sole or main residence of a council tax payer.
You can find out more about the discretionary discount scheme (hardship fund) in our policy:
Discretionary discount policy (PDF 42KB)
You can download and print an application for the most common discounts below. If the discount you want to apply for is not listed, please contact us to have a form sent to you. Please return your form by post to:
Central Bedfordshire Council
Or hand it in at any of our Customer Service Centres. You can also get help completing your form at any Customer Service Centre.
Application forms for:
If you apply for a reduction to your council tax, please carry on paying the amount specified on your current bill, until you receive a new one. If we reduce your bill and you have paid too much council tax, we will send you a refund.
If you are on a low income, you may qualify for help with your council tax.
- Until the end of March 2013, you may be able to get council tax benefit or second adult rebate.
- From April 2013, council tax benefit will be replaced with local council tax support. This is a reduction in your council tax based on your income.