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Exemptions from paying Council Tax

Should your property be exempt from the Council Tax?

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. There are time limits for how long some of the exemptions can be allowed. If you think your property should be exempt from Council Tax, contact us for advice on how to apply. We may ask you to provide some supporting evidence but will tell you about this when you speak to us.

An occupied property can be exempt from the Council Tax if it:

  • It is only occupied by students
  • ‚ÄčAll the residents are severely mentally impaired
  • All the residents are less than 18 years of age
  • The property is annexed to a family home and occupied by that family's elderly or disabled relatives (often known as 'granny flats')
  • At least one of the people liable to pay Council Tax is a foreign diplomat
  • It is an armed forces barracks or married quarters. Their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement.
  • At least one of the people liable to pay Council Tax is a member of a visiting force. 

An unoccupied property can be exempt from Council Tax if it:

  • Requires or is undergoing major repairs or is undergoing structural alterations.
  • Was occupied by a person who was liable for Council Tax but has died and probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted following their death.
  • Is owned by a charity
  • Is unfurnished
  • Was left empty by someone who has gone to prison, a detention centre or secure hospital
  • Was left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home, or elsewhere
  • Is empty because occupation is forbidden by law
  • Is waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • Was left empty by someone who has moved out to provide personal care to another person
  • Is owned by a student and was last occupied by that student
  • Has been repossessed
  • Is the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
  • Is a site for a caravan or mobile home, or a mooring for a boat
  • Is difficult to let because it is linked to, or in the grounds of, another property and may not be let separately from that other property without breaching, planning permission. The liable person must, however, live in the other property to qualify for this exemption.

Applying for an exemption

Please contact us and we will tell you what you need to do

While you are waiting to hear the result of an application for an exemption

You must continue to pay your current bill. If you are finding it hard to pay your Council Tax, please contact us immediately. 

After an exemption is granted

If the Council Tax charge is reduced a new bill will be issued showing how much to pay.

If an exemption is granted, we will make periodic checks that it should remain in place including checks with outside organisations such as credit agencies. We may ask you to provide information or evidence that helps us to do this. Failing to supply this information could mean the exemption is cancelled.

Please remember, if the circumstances relating to the exemption change, you must tell us immediately.

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