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Council Tax discounts and premiums

Details of the different Council Tax discounts available and the eligibility criteria for each type. You will also find information about Council Tax premiums for empty and unfurnished properties.

Discounts are granted based on existing Council Tax records and will be shown on the front of your bill. 

Single Person Discount

If your property is your sole or main residence and you are the only occupant living at the property, who is over 18 years of age, then you could be eligible for a 25% single person discount.

Apply for Single Person Discount

Use our online form to apply to Lewes District or Eastbourne Borough Council for a single person discount: 

Start now

Empty and unfurnished properties

Properties undergoing structural alteration or repair

The councils no longer offer a discount for properties undergoing structural change or major renovation. The change came into effect from 1 April 2024. 

If a property is derelict, undergoing major renovation and structural alteration during which it can't be lived in or is undergoing conversion to flats or from flats to a house, then the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) may consider deleting the property from the Council Tax list meaning council tax would not be charged until the property was reinstated in the Council Tax List by the VOA. 

Contact the VOA here: The Council Tax band may increase when the work has finished.

Properties that are empty and unfurnished

The councils no longer offer a discount for empty and unfurnished properties. The changes came into effect from 1 April 2020 for Lewes District Council and 1 April 2024 for Eastbourne Borough Council.

Empty Home Premiums

As of 1 of April 2024, an Empty Homes Premium will be charged on properties which have been empty and unfurnished for one year or more as follows:

  • Premium of 100% after 1 year and up to 5 years of becoming empty
  • Premium of 200% between 5 years and up to 10 years
  • Premium of 300% for 10 years or more

These premiums are property related and a change in liable party will not end the premium if the property remains empty and unfurnished.


Second homes

The councils do not award discounts for second/holiday homes.

As of the 1 of April 2025 the councils will charge a Second Homes Premium of 100% for all furnished dwellings that are no one's sole or main residence.

You may be entitled to a 50% discount if by the contract of your employment you are required to live in a property provided by your employer and you pay a full Council Tax charge elsewhere. For example, a publican who must live above the premises or a school caretaker who is required to live in accommodation provided by the school.


Disabled band reduction

We may be able to grant you a reduction on your Council Tax if a resident (adult or child) at the property has a disability.

If there's an extra room in your home with certain features essential to a resident with disabilities, or the use of a wheelchair is required indoors then you may qualify for a reduction.

The discount will be a band reduction on your Council Tax. This means that your property will be treated as though it was in the next lower valuation band.

If you would like to apply for a discount, please contact us.


You may be eligible for a 50% discount if you use your annexe as part of your main property or if a relative of the person who is liable for Council Tax on the main property is living in it.

If you would like to apply for a discount, please contact us


Discretionary reductions

The Council Tax regulations provide the council with additional discretionary powers. These allow us to reduce the Council Tax liability where statutory discounts, exemptions and reductions do not apply. You can download our Council Tax discretionary discount policy below:

Council Tax Discretionary Reduction in Liability Policy (PDF) [347KB]

Other discounts

The following people (this may include the person liable for payment) may be ignored (disregarded) when counting the number of adults living in the property if they meet the relevant criteria:

  • full-time students, student nurses, foreign language assistants and apprentices
  • patients resident in a hospital
  • people who are resident in a care home
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • school leavers under 20 who finish a full time course of education between 1 May and 31 October
  • 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
  • diplomats and members of visiting forces and certain international organisations
  • members of religious communities
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)

If you are the only person who is not disregarded in your property you may be eligible for a discount. If you would like to apply for a discount, please contact us

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Last modified on 13 June 2024