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Property exemptions

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Types of exemptions

The current legislation allows for an exemption to be applied where certain criteria are met.
The exemptions that could be granted are:


Premises owned by a charity that have been unoccupied less than six months

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Owned by a body established for charitable purposes only; and
  • Last occupied to help fulfil the charity's objectives
D Premises that have been left unoccupied by  persons being detained

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Where the owner or tenant is detained; and
  • Where the owner or tenant previously lived in the premises or would live in the premises if not for their detention

A person in detention are those who are detained in prison, hospital or elsewhere by order of a Court except those that are service sentences for non-payment of Council Tax or fines. Those that are held under the Immigration Act 1971, Mental Health Act 1983, Mental Health(Scotland) Act 1984, Army Act 1955, Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957

E Premises left unoccupied by persons who are in Hospital, Nursing Home or in a Residential Care Home

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Which were previously occupied by the owner(s) or tenant as their sole or main residence; and
  • Where the owner(s) or tenant are now living is a hospital or care home

Premises left unoccupied following the death of the Council Tax Payer

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • At the date of death the deceased had a Freehold or Leasehold interest in the premises (greater than 6 months); or
  • At the date of death the deceased had a tenancy of the premises (greater than 6 months ) and the estate or executor is liable to pay rent

The exemption does not apply where the property is jointly owned by the deceased.

The exemption will last up till six months after Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are issued

G Premises where law prohibits occupation

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Where occupation is prohibited by law or it is unoccupied by reason of any action taken by a public body to prohibit occupation

Premises which are unoccupied by being kept for a Minister of Religion

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Awaiting occupation by a practising minister of any recognised religious denomination

Premises left unoccupied by persons who reside elsewhere and are receiving care

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Which was previously occupied by the owner or tenant as their sole or main residence; and
  • Where the owner or tenant is living elsewhere (other than in a hospital or home) in order to receive personal care

Premises left unoccupied by persons who reside elsewhere and are providing care

Any premises which:

  • Are unoccupied; and
  • Which was previously occupied by the owner or tenant as their sole or main residence; and
  • Where the owner or tenant is now living elsewhere in order to provide personal care for someone

This does not include people who only spend short periods of time away.

The person providing care must have continuously been a carer since vacating the premises


Premises left unoccupied by students who are residing elsewhere to study

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Where the owner is a student living elsewhere because of their studies; and
  • Where the premises was last occupied only by one or more students as their sole or main residence

This exemption also applies to those that are living elsewhere and were not a student at the date of vacation but became a student within 6 weeks of that date.

Students are also disregarded from paying Council Tax.

L Repossessed premises

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied; and
  • Have been repossessed by the bank or building society or mortgagee

Hall of Residence

Any premise which are:

  • Provided mainly for the accommodation of students; and
  • Owned or managed by a prescribed educational establishment (including a charitable body); or
  • Where an educational establishment can nominate students to occupy all of the accommodation

The educational establishment or body must supply written details of the Halls of Residence to the council.

Students are also disregarded from paying Council Tax.

N Premises occupied solely by students

Any premises, which are occupied entirely by one or more students as their permanent home or as their term time accommodation.

See further information on who is classed as a student.

If premises are only occupied during term time they will continue to be exempt during vacation periods as long as one or more of the students own the premises (freehold, leasehold or have a licence to occupy the whole or any part of the premises and have previously been used or are intended for use as term time accommodation.

O Barracks messes and married quarters provided by the Ministry of Defence

Any property, which is:

  • Owned by the Ministry of Defence and
  • Used for armed forces accommodation

In the case of MoD property, the Ministry will correspond direct with the council and make contributions in respect of Council Tax (Contribution in Lieu)


Premises occupied by members of Visiting Armed Forces

Occupied by a member of a Visiting Armed Force (who would otherwise be liable to pay the Council Tax)


Premises which are in the hands of a Trustee in Bankruptcy

Any premises which are:

  • Unoccupied and
  • The person would be liable to pay the Council Tax is a Trustee in Bankruptcy in respect of the person to whom the premises belongs

This exemption only applies to premises where a Trustee in bankruptcy has been appointed to deal with an estate of which the premises form a part

R Pitches or moorings where the caravan or houseboat has been removed

Unoccupied pitches or moorings where the caravan or houseboat has been removed


Premises occupied solely by persons under 18 years

Any premises which are solely occupied by a person or persons who are under the age of 18.

The council will require that a request is made in writing with details of the occupants of the premises and proof of their Date of Birth.


Unoccupied annexes subject to planning restriction

Any premises that are:

  • Unoccupied and
  • Form part of single property which includes another dwelling and
  • Unable to be let separately due to planning restrictions

The exemptions apply to annexes which although separately liable for Council Tax are unable to be let or sold separately due to restrictions placed on the premises by S171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

The exemption does not apply where there is no restriction on the letting of the property.

The council will require a claim in writing to be submitted together with details of the property and restrictions placed on it.


Premises occupied solely by person(s) who are Severely Mentally Impaired

The person has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent and the person obtains a certificate duly signed to the effect by a registered medical practitioner and

The person must be entitled to one of the following benefits or would have been entitled to one of them had they not reached pensionable age:

  1. Incapacity Benefit
  2. Attendance Allowance
  3. Severe Disablement Allowance
  4. Employment and Support Allowance (which must include the "Support Component")
  5. Care Component of a Disability Living Allowance payable at either the middle or highest rate (the lowest rate will not qualify)
  6. An increase in the rate of Disablement Pension (where constant attendance needed)
  7. Disabled Person's Tax Credit
  8. An Unemployability Supplement
  9. An Unemployability Allowance
  10. A Constant Attendance Allowance
  11. Income Support which includes a disability premium
  12. A Premium added to their partner's Jobseeker's Allowance
  13. The standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment

Premises occupied by Diplomats

A dwelling in respect of which at least one person who would be liable to pay Council Tax but for this provision satisfies the conditions set out below

  • A person on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964; or
  • In relation to an order under the International Organisations Act 1968; or
  • Is a person on whom privileges or immunities are conferred by Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1996

The person must also satisfy the condition that there is no other dwelling in the UK which is the main residence of that person (or of his spouse) or is the main residence within the UK of that person (or his spouse).


Annexes which are occupied solely by dependant relatives

For the purposes of Class W, a dwelling which forms part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and which is the sole or main residence of a dependant relative of a person who is a resident in that other dwelling or as the case may be one of those other dwellings.

For the purpose of Class W a dependant relative is:

  • Aged 65 or more; or
  • Severely mentally impaired; or
  • Substantially and permanently disabled whether by injury illness or congenital deformity or otherwise

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