Council tax exemptions

If you own or occupy a property which is described below and your bill does not show that an exemption has been granted, please download the attached application form.

Unoccupied property exemptions

-B- Are owned by a charity and last used for charitable purposes (exemption allowed for up to six months only)
-D- Are left empty by someone who has gone to prison
-E/I- Are left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home

When a property had been occupied by a single person, who either owned or rented the property and that person dies, the property is exempt from Council Tax payment for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted.  Following a grant of probate, a further six months exemption is possible as long as the property remains unoccupied and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.

It is important that the executor(s) keep the Revenues office informed of:

  • the date probate is granted,
  • details of the transfer or sale of the property or the end date of the tenancy,
  • when the estate is settled.

    During this time the council may contact the executors periodically to review entitlement to the exemption.

After Six months from the date probate is granted, the full Council Tax will be due to be paid by the executors of the estate.
-G- Are empty because occupation is forbidden by law
-H- Are waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
-J- Are left empty by someone who has moved out to provide personal care to
another person
-K- Are owned by a full time student and were last occupied by that student
-L- Have been repossessed by the mortgagee
-Q- Are the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
-R- Are pitches or moorings not occupied by a caravan or boat
-T- Are empty annexes which cannot be let separately from that main property without breaching planning permission. The liable person must, however, live in the main property to qualify

Occupied property exemptions

-M- Hall of residence for students
-N- Property occupied entirely by students
-O- UK Armed forces accommodation
-P- Where at least one liable person is a member of a visiting force
-S- Where all the residents are less than 18 years of age
-U- Where all the residents are severely mentally impaired
-V- Where at least one liable person is a foreign diplomat
-W- Which are annexed to a family home and occupied by that family's elderly (over 65) or disabled relatives

These categories are only broad descriptions of the available exemptions. If you believe an exemption should apply to your bill, please contact the council for advice.

Important changes from 1 April 2013

The government has abolished the exemptions that used to apply for empty property that requires structural work to make it habitable as well as empty property that is no-one's "sole or main residence".

These were known as Class A exemptions and Class C exemptions.

It is now left to each Local Authority to determine the amount of relief that should be granted to property that would have fallen into one of these classes.

Watford Borough Council decided on 30 January 2013 that no relief should be granted to property that would have been in Class A or Class C and that full Council Tax should be charged.


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