Are you entitled to a Council Tax exemption?
There are variety of reasons why you could be exempt from paying Council Tax.
If you're not sure whether you're eligible for an exemption, read through the following exemption options to learn more.
If you think you may be entitled to a discount or that your property is exempt, you will be able to apply online using the relevant form.
If you apply to claim a discount, you will still have to pay the amount demanded on your bill until we make a decision on your claim.
Properties occupied solely by person(s) who are severely mentally impaired
Households where every adult is classed as having a severe mental impairment, for example dementia, can be exempt from paying Council Tax. The person must be certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired and they must be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits listed below.
- Incapacity Benefit
- Employment Support Allowance
- Income Support which includes a Disability Premium
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with the Middle or Higher rate of the care component
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Disablement Pension
- Unemployability Allowance/Supplement
- Constant Attendance (Personal Injuries (Civilians Scheme 1983 or Naval, Military and Air Forces (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983)
Property left unoccupied as the Council Tax payer has gone to live in a care home
Any property which is unoccupied and:
- Was previously occupied by the owner or tenant as their sole or main residence; and
- Where the owner or tenant is now living in a care home
The exemption only applies where the person now has their sole or main residence in a hospital or care home and this does not include people who spend short periods in hospital or care homes and intend to return home. The exemption starts on the day that the premises becomes unoccupied due to the person residing in the hospital or home. The exemption will last for as long as the above conditions are met.
Property left unoccupied following the death of the Council Tax payer
If a property is unoccupied because the council tax payer has died and it has been unoccupied since the person's death, it is exempt from council tax.
The exemption remains active until six months after the granting of probate or letters of administration. After this date, 100% of the council tax becomes payable if the property is unoccupied.
The exemption does not apply where the property is jointly owned by the deceased.
Properties occupied only by full time students
Households where every adult is a full-time student, are exempt from paying Council Tax. If a non-student resides with you then you may be entitled to a 25% discount. The 25% discount will be awarded where there is only one adult who is not a student.
·Are you eligible for a student discount or exemption?
A student (including those who are from overseas) must be:
- Undertaking a university or college full-time course which lasts for at least one academic or calendar year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time.
- If you are under 20 years old you must be undertaking a course which lasts more than 3 months and at least 12 hours of study per week (For example, A level, ONC and OND Standard).
Annexe occupied by a dependent relative
If you have a close relative who lives in the annexe and if one of the following criteria applies to them, we may be able to award an exemption from Council Tax for the annexe.
- They are over 65 years of age, or
- They are severely mentally impaired, or
- Substantially and permanently disabled
Unoccupied annexe which may not be let separately from another property without a breach of planning control
The exemption applies 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.
Property left unoccupied as the Council Tax payer resides elsewhere to provide care
Any unoccupied property which and was previously the sole and main residence of the Council Tax payer who now resides elsewhere in order to provide personal care.
This exemption does not include being away for short periods of time to provide care. The Council Tax payer must have been continuously providing care since vacating the property.
The care provided must be because of old age, disablement, illness, alcohol/drug dependence or a mental disorder.
Empty Caravan Pitch
Any pitch which was previously occupied by a caravan which has now been removed will be exempt from paying Council Tax.
The exemption will apply from the day the caravan was removed and will last until a caravan is put back on the pitch.
Occupied only by persons under the age of 18
Properties which are solely occupied by persons who are under the age of 18 are exempt from paying Council Tax.
Armed forces Accommodation for UK forces
Properties which are owned by the Ministry of Defence and used for armed forces accommodation are exempt from paying Council Tax.
Unoccupied property which is owned by a charity - for up to six months
Any property which meets the following criteria can receive an exemption lasting up to 6 months. The property must be;
- Owned by a body established for charitable purposes only
- Last occupied to help fulfill the charity’s objectives.
Property left unoccupied as the Council Tax payer is detained in prison, hospital or elsewhere by order of a court.
Any property which is unoccupied due to the sole occupier being detained elsewhere will be exempt from paying Council Tax. In order for the exemption to apply the property must be unoccupied and the person must be detained in the following circumstances:
- Detained in a prison, hospital or any other place by a court order
- Detained under The Immigration Act 1971
- Detained under The Mental Health Act 1983
Properties where occupation is prohibited by law
Any property which is 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.
The exemption will be lost if the property becomes occupied, even illegal occupation. The exemption will last for as long as all of the conditions are met.
Unoccupied properties which are being kept for a minister of Religion
Any property which is unoccupied and awaiting occupation by a practicing minister of any recognised religious denomination.
Property left unoccupied by a student who resided elsewhere to study
Any property which is unoccupied and where:
- the owner is a student living elsewhere because of their studies; and
- the dwelling was last occupied only by one or more students as their sole or main residence.
In some cases the qualifying person may not have become a student until after changing their main residence. In these cases, he or she must have become a student within six weeks of leaving the property for the exemption to apply.
Hall of residence
Any premises which are;
- provided mainly for the accommodation of students
- 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.
Mortgagee in possession
Any property which is unoccupied and has been repossessed by the bank or building society or mortgagee will be exempt from Council Tax.
Properties, which are in the hands of a Trustee in Bankruptcy
Any unoccupied property where the person who would be liable to pay the council tax is a Trustee in Bankruptcy in respect of the person to whom the premises belongs.
The exemption only applies to premises where a Trustee in Bankruptcy has been appointed to deal with the estate of which the premises is part.
This exemption does not apply to discharged bankruptcies or cases where the bankrupt person (as opposed to the Trustee) is the liable party for the council tax.
Premises occupied by diplomats
A property where at least one person, whose name appears on the council tax bill, satisfies one of the following conditions:
- A person on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.
- In relation to an order under the International Organisations Act 1968.
- Is a person on whom privileges or immunities are conferred by Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1996.
Properties occupied by members of Visiting Armed Forces
Any property which is;
- Occupied by a member of a visiting armed force and they are liable for the council tax charge
- The definition of visiting armed force for this purpose is laid down in Part 1 of the Visiting Forces Act 1952.
- The exemption can continue for as long as both criteria above are met.