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Council Tax Exemptions

Some properties may qualify for a council tax exemption, meaning no Council Tax is payable.


Occupied properties:-

Student  residences

Student halls of residence at universities or colleges are exempt.

Homes occupied by students

A student is someone undertaking a full-time qualifying course at a prescribed educational establishment.

Armed Forces properties

Any Ministry of Defence (MOD) property used as accommodation for armed forces personnel are exempt.  Instead, the MOD makes a contribution in lieu of council tax based on an agreed national formula. 

Home occupied only by under 18's

Your property is exempt if all the occupiers are under 18 years of age.

Home occupied only by persons who are severely mentally impaired

Your property is exempt if all the occupiers are severely mentally impaired and they are responsible for paying the bill.  A person is responsible for paying council tax if they own the property or they have a tenancy agreement either on their own or jointly with others, for the whole of the property.  

Diplomatic privilege or immunity

Your property is exempt if you have diplomatic privilege or immunity.

An annexe occupied by a dependant relative

Your property is exempt, if your home is attached to another home where the occupied of the annexe is a dependant relative of the person who lives in the other home.

A dependant relative is someone who is-

  • over 65, or
  • severely mentally impaired, or
  • substantially and permanently physically disabled


Unoccupied properties:- (meaning no-one lives there)

Property owned by a charity

If a charity owns your property, you can get an exemption up to 6 months from the date if became unoccupied.

Property left vacant by a person in prison

If you are in prison, your property will be exempt from the date you are detained until it is reoccupied, even if you are in custody before a trial.  It does not apply, if you are in prison for not paying a fine or council tax.

Property left vacant by a care home / hospital patient

If you are permanently in care home or you are in hospital whilst you wait for a permanent move to a care home, and your former home is empty, it will be exempt from the date the property ceased to be your main residence.

Unoccupied due to death

If a property is owned by someone was has died, the property will be exempt until 6 months after the date of grant or probate or letters of administration.

Unoccupied by public law, statute or regulation

Your unoccupied property is exempt where a legal notice has been served preventing people from living in it.  This could be because it is unfit to live in.

Unoccupied but held for a minister of religion

Properties such as vicarages, unoccupied from when a minister leaves until a new minister is appointed are exempt.

Unoccupied by a student

If the last occupier was a student or became a student within 6 weeks of leaving the property, it is exempt.

Property repossessed by a mortgage lender

Properties repossessed by a mortgage company are exempted from the date of repossession until the property is sold or reoccupied.  It does not apply to properties where people hand back the keys.

Property unoccupied due to bankruptcy

If you are acting as a trustee in a bankruptcy, you can get an exemption, whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.

Unoccupied annexe to an occupied dwelling

You can get an exemption for an unoccupied annexe that is part of the building including another occupied home, if no one lives in it and where there is a planning condition preventing the annexe from being let separately.

Unoccupied because you live elsewhere to receive care

You can get an exemption if the property was your main residence and you go to live elsewhere so you can receive personal care, for example from a relative.

Unoccupied because you have moved elsewhere to provide care

You can get an exemption if the property was your main residence and you go to live elsewhere to provide personal care for someone else.

Updated: 19 Jul 2019
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