Council Tax exemptions

Some properties are exempt from paying Council Tax. This can apply to both occupied and unoccupied properties, depending on the circumstances.

Occupied properties that are exempt

An occupied property is exempt from paying Council Tax for any of the following reasons.

  • All the residents are under 18 years old.
  • All the residents are care leavers under the age of 25
  • It is part of a student halls of residence.
  • It is a property where all the residents are full-time students and/or student nurses.
  • It is armed forces accommodation.
  • It is visiting forces accommodation.
  • All the residents are severely mentally impaired and would be responsible for paying the Council Tax if this exemption did not exist.
  • All the residents are diplomats.
  • It is a domestic property that is part of another domestic property, and the person living in it is a dependant relative of a person living in the main property.
  • Its annexes are occupied by a dependant relative who is either aged 65 or more, or is severely mentally impaired or disabled.

Unoccupied properties that are exempt

An unoccupied property is exempt from paying Council Tax for any of the following reasons.

  • The law says nobody is allowed to live in it.
  • The mortgagee has repossessed it.
  • The person who is liable is in prison.
  • The person who is liable is staying long-term in a care home, hostel or hospital.
  • The person who is liable is living elsewhere to receive care.
  • The person who is liable is living elsewhere to provide care for someone who is elderly, ill or disabled.
  • The person who is liable is a student who is living elsewhere.
  • The person who is liable has gone bankrupt and has left it empty.
  • The person who was liable has died, and neither probate nor letters of administration have yet been granted. This applies until probate or letters of administration have been granted and for six months afterwards (unless someone else becomes the owner or occupies the property).
  • It was owned and last occupied by a registered charity for a maximum of six months, after which a 100% charge applies.
  • It is being kept vacant for a religious minister to move into.
  • It is an empty caravan pitch or boat mooring.
  • It is part of another domestic property and cannot be rented out separately.
  • It is an unoccupied annexe that cannot be let separately from the main home due to planning restrictions.

Find out more about other Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

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