Council Tax exemptions

Council tax exemptions
Unoccupied dwelling, owned by a charity (Class B)

A dwelling owned by a charity is exempt for up to 6 months from the date it became unoccupied.

The property must have been used for the purposes of the charity up to the date it was unoccupied.

Unoccupied dwelling where occupation prohibited by law or planning restriction (Class G)

An unoccupied dwelling is exempt if:

  • its occupation is restricted by a condition which prevents occupancy and which is imposed by planning permission
  • its occupation is prohibited by law
  • it is kept unoccupied because of an act of parliament
People receiving care (Class I)

This is where a person goes to live with someone else in order to receive care (or they’ve entered an institution which is not a hospital or care home) and leaves their property unoccupied.

The person needs to receive care due to old age, disablement illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental disorder.

The unoccupied dwelling must have been the sole or main residence of the absent person.

People providing care (Class J)

If an owner or tenant leaves a property unoccupied, because they changed residence to provide personal care for someone else, the property they leave can be exempt.

They don’t have to live at the same dwelling as the person they care for.

The unoccupied dwelling must previously have been their sole or main residence.

Minors (Class S)

A property that is only occupied by a person who is, or by persons who are, under 18 years of age is exempt from having to pay Council Tax.

Severely mentally impaired (Class U)

If a dwelling is only occupied by people who are classed as severely mentally impaired it’s exempt from Council Tax.

This is only if the person on the bill is classed as severely mentally impaired.

Students (Class N)
  • if one or all the occupants of a property are full-time students they can be 100% exempt.
  • if a property is occupied by one student and one non-student, a discount of 25% is given.
  • if it is occupied partly by students and two or more non-students, no discount is given and the full council tax must be paid by the non-students.
  • if it is occupied by a student who has a non-British spouse or dependant living with them who is unable to work because of the terms of their entry to the UK then no charge is payable.
Unoccupied dwelling due to person now living in a residential care home (Class E)

This exemption applies where the owner or tenant of the dwelling has their sole or mail residence in a care home or hostel, or in an independent hospital.

The unoccupied dwelling must previously have been their sole or main residence.

People awaiting probate (Class F)

When a property had been rented or owned occupied by a single person who dies, that property is exempt from Council Tax for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted.

If probate is granted, you could get a Council Tax exemption for another 6 months if the property is both:

  • unoccupied
  • still owned and in the name of the person who died
Diplomats (Class V)

A property it is exempt from Council Tax.if it is the main residence in the United Kingdom of at least one person who is covered by the below list.

  • Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1966
  • The Consular Relations Act 1968
  • The Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges )Order 1985
  • The Hong Kong Economic Trade Act 1996

The person must not be a British subject, a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen a British National (Overseas) or a British Overseas citizen, a British protected person or a permanent resident in the United Kingdom, and must be a person who would be liable for the council tax if not for the exemption.

Visiting forces (Class P)

A dwelling is exempt from council tax if any person who would otherwise have been liable has a relevant association with visiting force from a country to which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies.

A person has a relevant association with a visiting force if he or she is:

  • a member of that force, or a member of the civilian component of the force; or
  • a dependent of a member, provided that the dependent is not a British Citizen or is not ordinarily resident

A dwelling owned or rented by a person with a relevant association is exempt even though other people may live in the dwelling who do not have such an association.

The exemption does not apply if the person associated with the visiting force would not be the liable person.

Unoccupied dwelling left empty by a bankruptcy (Class Q)

If a person is a trustee in bankruptcy and they would be liable to the council tax for an unoccupied dwelling is, that dwelling is exempt.

The exemption applies whether or not the trustee is jointly liable with any other person.

UK armed forces accommodation (Class O)

Living accommodation owned by the Secretary of State for Defence is exempt whether occupied or not.

This includes barracks and other accommodation on military bases, together with married quarters and other dwellings.

Unoccupied annex unable to be let separately (Class T)

This exemption is granted where an annex is empty and cannot be let separately (without a breach of planning control under section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990).

This continues as long as it’s unoccupied.

An annex is defined as a dwelling that forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling.

Student halls of residence (Class M)

Halls of residence for students are exempt from Council Tax.

 The accommodation must be owned or managed by an educational establishment (like a college or university), or the majority of the student residents are nominated by that establishment.

Though provided predominantly for students, part of the accommodation can be used for staff or other people.

Unoccupied caravan pitch or mooring (Class R)

Caravan pitches and moorings for boats may be eligible for Council Tax.

An empty pitch or mooring is exempt for the whole of the period it’s vacant.

Unoccupied because former resident in prison or detained under the Mental Health Act (Class D)

Exemption applies when the owner or tenant is in prison, hospital or other place of detention. The property needs to be their sole or main residence before they were detained.

Unoccupied dwelling where a mortgagee is in possession (Class L)

This exemption applies where the mortgagee ( bank or building society) has retaken possession of the property

Annexes occupied by a dependent relative (Class W)

Annexes are exempt if occupied as the home of a dependent relative of a person living in the main dwelling.

The relative needs to be:

  • aged 65 years or more
  • under 65 but severely mentally impaired, or
  • under 65 but substantially and permanently disabled

Other discount groups

Adults who may be disregarded (not counted for Council Tax purposes) as they fall into a special group.

  • people in detention
  • severely mentally-impaired
  • people who receive Child Benefit
  • school and college leavers
  • full students, apprentices or youth trainees
  • hospital patients
  • patients in homes in England and Wales
  • carers and care workers
  • residents of hostels for the homeless or night shelters
  • members (and dependents) of the international HQs and defence organisations
  • members of religious communities
  • members (and dependants) of visiting forces
  • non-British spouses of students
  • diplomatic privilege or immunity