We can sometimes give a short term council tax reduction to people who find themselves unexpectedly in exceptional circumstances. This type of reduction is called a Section 13a under the Local Government Finance Act.

We can only give a Section 13a reduction in exceptional situations. The money to cover the reductions comes out of our own funds and the decision to make a reduction and how much it is for is at our discretion -we do not have to give a reduction to anyone.

Apply for a reduction under section 13a

When applying, you must:

  • demonstrate you have taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problems that are causing you to apply for the reduction
  • apply for any other types of council tax reduction, council tax discounts or exemptions you might be able to get. See Council tax exemptions and discounts page and Local council tax reduction scheme page.
  • check to see if you can reduce your council tax by challenging your council tax band, if you have grounds to do so
  • demonstrate that you do not have any assets, equity on any owned property, excess income or savings that could be used to pay the council tax
  • investigate and taken advice to see if you are eligible for a debt relief order or involuntary arrangement
  • demonstrate that you have exhausted all alternative options available to you.
  • evidence that you are experiencing financial hardship or exceptional or unforeseen circumstances
  • in the case of an empty property premium charge you must also be able to demonstrate you have exhausted all reasonable steps to either re-occupy the property or market the property for sale or rent. 

You can apply for a reduction under Section 13a online - before applying please read the policy carefully to see if you may qualify:

Apply for council tax reductions in special circumstances