Council Tax exemptions

Properties exempt from council tax

In some cases, a property may be exempt from Council Tax altogether, which means that you will not have to pay Council Tax on it. This exemption may be for a limited time.  

Empty properties exempt from Council Tax  

An empty property will be exempt from Council Tax when the property is:  

  • Owned by a registered charity and last used for charitable purposes 
  • Part of the estate of a person who has died, for up to 6 months after the grant of probate or letters of administration, unless probate determines ownership 
  • Occupation is prohibited by law or a planning condition 
  • Being held vacant for a minister of religion 
  • Under a repossession order by a mortgage lender 
  • An unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring 
  • An empty annexe of a single property and cannot be let separately. 

An empty property will also be exempt from Council Tax if it was last lived in by someone who is:  

  • In prison and he or she owns the property or still holds the tenancy 
  • Now living in a hospital, residential home, care home, nursing home or hostel or has moved elsewhere to receive personal care 
  • Living elsewhere to care for another person 
  • A student or became a student within 6 weeks of leaving the property 
  • A trustee in bankruptcy proceedings

We  no longer give discounts or exemptions for empty properties undergoing works of repair or refurbishment, including those damaged by fire. However, you may wish to contact the Valuation Office Agency [link to VOA] who can considerif  the property still qualifies as a dwelling or should be deleted from the valuation list.

Occupied properties exempt from Council Tax 

An occupied property will be exempt from Council Tax when it is: 

  • A student hall of residence 
  • A Ministry of Defence barracks or married quarters 
  • Visiting forces accommodation 
  • Part of another property which is only lived in by the elderly or disabled relatives of those living in the rest of the property. 

An occupied property will also be exempt from Council Tax when it is lived in only by: 

  • Full-time students and their spouses or dependents who are not EU citizens 
  • People under 18 years old 
  • People who are severely mentally impaired 
  • Foreign diplomats 

Second homes and between lets 

If your property is furnished and used as a second home or is between lets you will not be entitled to a Council Tax discount.

Exemptions for an annexe 

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
  • a dependent under 18
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