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Apply for a discount or an exemption

Exemptions for unoccupied properties

You can apply for an exemption if the property is unoccupied for one of these reasons:

Property owned by a charitable body

The property must have been last used to meet the charity’s objectives. and purposes, such as housing refugees. This exemption applies for up to six months only.

Four conditions must be met to qualify for this exemption:

  1. Property must be owned by a charitable body
  2. Body must be established for a charitable purpose
  3. The property must be unoccupied for a period of less than six months
  4. The last occupation must have been to further the charitable objectives

Liable person in detention

The property is left empty by a person who is in prison or detained.

Liable person moved into a care home

Please see the section above called ‘People who don’t count for Council Tax’ for details of how to apply.

Liable person deceased

The property must have remained unoccupied since the date of death, and a grant of probate or letters of administration have not been made.

In most circumstances, the exemption will continue for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration.

Occupation prohibited by law

Occupation of the property has been prohibited by law, or is kept unoccupied by action taken under powers conferred by an Act of Parliament.

This exemption doesn't apply if the local authority has served a repair notice.

Property held for a minister of religion

The property must be a residence used by the minister to perform their duties of office.

Property left empty by a person needing personal care

The liable person has moved to live with someone else in order to receive personal care.

This care must be needed because of:

  • old age
  • disablement
  • illness
  • past or present alcohol or drug dependence
  • past or present mental disorder

The empty property must have been the person’s sole or main residence.

Property left empty by a person giving personal care

The liable person has moved to live with someone else in order to give personal care.

This care must be given because of:

  • old age
  • disablement
  • illness
  • past or present alcohol or drug dependence
  • past or present mental disorder

The empty property must have been the person’s sole or main residence.

Property left unoccupied by student(s)

The owner must be a student. Prior to leaving the property empty, they used it as their sole, or main residence. All other occupants were also students.

Mortgagee in possession

The property has remained unoccupied since being possessed by the bank or building society which holds the mortgage.

When you apply, please provide: a letter from the financial institution confirming possession.

Property left empty by a trustee in bankruptcy

The liable owner is a trustee in bankruptcy under the Insolvency Act 1986, or other bankruptcy legislation.

Property is a caravan pitch or boat mooring

The pitch isn’t occupied by a caravan, or the mooring isn’t occupied by a boat.

Property is an annexe

The annexe forms part of a single property which includes at least one other dwelling.