If a property is empty, you may be able to get a Council Tax exemption.
You can apply for an exemption if the property is empty for any of the following reasons.
An unoccupied property may be exempt if the person who is liable for paying the Council Tax bill has died and probate (the legal right to deal with a deceased person's property) or letters of administration have not been granted.
This exemption will end six months after you've been granted probate, or if the property is sold, transferred or occupied.
If the property is jointly owned and only one of the owners has died, the property will not be exempt.
To qualify, the person must have moved to provide care more easily and now live with or live closer to the person they’re caring for.
To qualify the care must be needed because of old age, disability, illness, drug or alcohol dependence or mental illness. The care can’t be provided in a care home or hospital.
If a property has been left empty by a student and the student is liable to pay the Council Tax bill, the property will be exempt.
The exemption will end when the property is occupied.
The exemption only applies if the move is permanent and there is no plan to move back home.
If a property is empty because the occupation of the property is prohibited by law it could be exempt from council tax.
The property will be exempt for any of the following reasons:
- a planning condition restricts occupation
- occupation is prohibited while an order is obtained to prevent occupation or compulsorily purchase the property
This does not apply to properties where private action between individuals to prevent occupation is being taken or where properties are occupied illegally such as by squatters.
This exemption means you won't have to pay any Council Tax for up to three months.
After three months, the full amount of Council Tax will be charged. If you become liable for a property that has already been empty for more than three months you won’t be able to claim a further three month reduction.
If a property remains unoccupied and unfurnished for two or more years, you’ll be charged an additional 50% (so if your yearly Council Tax is £1,000 it will increase to £1,500).
If your property is unoccupied but furnished you can claim a 10% discount until the property is occupied or the furniture is removed.
If your property is unoccupied and requires major repair work to make it liveable or if it’s being structurally altered, you won’t have to pay Council Tax for up to 12 months.
We’ll visit the property to see if it meets the criteria for a discount.
If a property is left empty because it is awaiting religious occupation it could be exempt from council tax.
To qualify the property must be waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion for them to carry out their duties.
Your property will be exempt from Council Tax if it is:
- an unoccupied annexe (class T) that can't be let from the main building without planning permission
- an empty pitch or mooring (class R) where the caravan or boat has been removed from the site
- a formally repossessed property (class L) where the lender of the mortgage (usually a bank or building society) has taken possession of the property