Council Tax Explanatory Notes | Council Tax Explanatory Notes | Oldham Council

Council Tax is charged on most homes. It does not matter if the property is rented or owned, or whether it is lived in or not.

Each home is placed in one of eight bands by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) according to its market value as at 1 April 1991.

Your Council Tax bill shows which band your property is in. If you think your Council Tax band may be wrong, you can ask the VOA to review it.

Do you qualify for a discount?

The full Council Tax charge assumes two adults are living in the property. If only one adult lives in the property, a Single Person Discount of 25% may be awarded.

Households of two or more adult occupiers may be entitled to a discount if any of the occupiers fall within one of the following categories:

  • Full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and those people under 25 on youth training schemes
  • People resident in hospital or in care homes
  • People who are severely mentally impaired
  • People living with and caring for someone who is not their spouse or child under 18
  • 18 or 19 year olds who are still at school or college or have just left
  • 18 or 19 year olds for whom child benefit is still being paid
  • Members of religious communities, such as monks or nuns.
  • People staying in hostels or night shelters
  • Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • People in prison or detention (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
  • Care leavers under 25 who are living in the borough and are responsible for Council Tax will receive a 100% discount.
  • Some annexes occupied by relatives of the person who is responsible for the Council Tax on the main dwelling may be eligible for a discount.
  • Properties that are unoccupied, unfurnished and undergoing major works or structural alteration may be eligible for a 50% discount for a maximum period of 12 months.

In exceptional circumstances, you can apply for a discretionary reduction in your Council Tax.

There is no statutory right to a reduction and all applications will be considered on their own merits.

Unoccupied properties

From 1 April 2023 empty and unoccupied properties will no longer qualify for a discount and a 100% charge will be payable.

Properties that have been left empty for two years or more will be charged an additional premium of 100%. This will mean that a 200% charge will be payable.

From 1 April 2023, the Council will introduce an additional premium of 200% for properties that have been empty and unfurnished for between five and ten years, and for properties that have been empty and unfurnished for over ten years an additional premium of 300%.

The premium will not be charged on any property that would be the sole or main residence of a person in the armed forces who is posted away from home; is a job related second home; or is an annexe to a property that is being used as part of the main residence of the main dwelling.

Certain other exceptions to the premium charged can be considered on request

Unoccupied properties may be exempt if they are:

  • Owned by a charity providing that when they were last occupied, they were being used for the purpose of the charity; exempt for up to six months.
  • Left empty by someone who is a permanent resident in a hospital, care home or in prison/detention
  • Left empty by someone who is receiving care from another person
  • Left empty by someone who is providing care for another person
  • Left empty and were last occupied by a full-time student who is the owner or leaseholder
  • Left empty because someone has died, and for up to six months after probate has been granted
  • Left empty due to repossession or are the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Left empty because occupation is not allowed by law
  • Awaiting occupation by a minister of religion
  • An unoccupied annexe

Occupied properties may be exempt if they are:

  • Occupied only by people under 18
  • Occupied only by people who are full-time students or student nurses
  • Occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired
  • Part of another property and a dependant elderly or disabled relative lives in it, such as a ‘granny flat’ or annexe

People with disabilities

If you or someone who lives with you use a room; extra bathroom/kitchen; or a wheelchair in your home to meet special needs arising from a disability, you may get a reduction in your Council Tax.

Council Tax Reduction

If you are a low income household, you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of Council Tax you pay.

Council Tax Reduction is not only for people who are out of work. Many working people can also claim it.

To find out if you can claim Council Tax Reduction, visit our website at:

Change in circumstances

If you are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction you must tell us if your circumstances change. For example, if someone moves into or out of your property or your income or savings and investments change.

It is an offence not to tell us about any change in circumstances that affects your Council Tax bill and benefits. 

Report your changes online:

Council Tax appeals

As well as appealing against the banding of your property you can also appeal against other Council Tax matters, for example if you do not think you are the person who should pay the bill or if you

As well as appealing against the banding of your property you can also appeal against other Council Tax matters, for example if you do not think you are the person who should pay the bill or if you think you should get a discount, reduction or exemption which you have not received.

Any appeal about a Council Tax matter must be made in writing to the address on the back of your bill.

If you submit an appeal, you must continue to pay the instalments shown on your Council Tax bill until a final decision is made. If you make an appeal to us about a Council Tax matter and you are not satisfied with the outcome, we will tell you at that stage how you could make a further appeal to an independent tribunal.

Adult Social Care precept

The Secretary of State made an offer to adult social care authorities. (“adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer was the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional “precept” on its council tax without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting its expenditure on adult social care starting from the financial year 2016-17. 

This precept is shown separately on your bill.

Paying your Council Tax

You have the choice of paying your Council Tax over 10 or 12 months. If you are having problems paying your Council Tax, please contact us as soon as possible.

The council will be reasonable if you have a genuine problem. If you don’t contact us or pay on time, further action will be taken which may lead to additional costs being added to your account.

Financial Information

Information regarding how your Council Tax is calculated and a summary of where the Council’s budget is spent is available at:

Council Tax Team contact details: