Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Fund

If you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax through very exceptional circumstances, we may be able to consider hardship relief.


Do I qualify?

We’ll consider each application individually.  In most cases you’ll need to demonstrate:

  • There must be evidence of financial hardship or unforeseen, exceptional circumstances to justify any reduction.
  • All other eligible discounts/reliefs must have been explored prior to an application being made.
  • You do not have access to other funds/assets that could be used to pay the council tax.
  • That you have investigated and exhausted all other legitimate means of resolving the situation. If you have not done so, we will be unable to make any award

We will also consider:

  • The payment record history of your council tax account.
  • Whether the amount outstanding is a result of willful refusal to pay or culpable neglect - if this is the case we will be unable to make an award.
  • Relief will only apply to a primary home.

The relief is intended as short-term assistance only and must not be considered as a way of reducing your Council Tax long term.

Before you’re considered for hardship relief, you must first see if you’re eligible for any other discounts, reliefs, exemptions and Council Tax support.


What happens next?

If you’re given hardship relief, we can only do so for a short term and this will not extend past the end of the current Council Tax year.


What if I disagree with your decision?

The law does not give you a right of appeal, but if you write and ask us to we’ll look at the decision made again.  We’ll consider any additional evidence you provide and will let you know our decision within 21 days of receiving your request.


Debt Advice

If you’re struggling with debt including rent or mortgage arrears, fuel debts, payday loans or credit and store card debt, it’s important to seek help.  Don’t ignore your bills or debt letters. There’s help and advice available from local and national organisations.  It’s important to act now and stop things from getting worse.

Our Benefits Team can tell you what Council Tax support you may be entitled to and provide advice on other benefits, including help with housing costs.

Try the benefits calculator to find out what other benefits you could get.