Lewisham Council - When someone dies
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Council tax when someone dies

Here you can find out what you need to do about council tax when someone dies.

Was the deceased liable to pay council tax?

If the deceased was liable to pay council tax

You need to let us know about the death.

You need to provide these details:

  • the date of death (please provide a copy of the death certificate if possible)
  • whether or not probate is being applied for
  • the name and address of the person dealing with the deceased's affairs (this may be a solicitor or executor)
  • details of anyone else still living in the deceased's property
  • details of what will happen to the property if it is now empty.

If you do not know if the deceased was liable to pay council tax, you should see if their name appeared on the council tax bill sent to their home. If their name appears on the bill then they were liable.

If you are unable to find an up-to-date council tax bill please contact us for advice (details below).

If the deceased was not liable to pay council tax

You should still inform us of the death as it may affect the amount of council tax you have to pay.

Did the deceased live with you?

If the answer is yes, you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of council tax you have to pay.

If you are now living alone you will be entitled to a 25 per cent discount, unless you are disregarded (not counted) as occupying the property, in which case you may be entitled to either a 50 per cent discount or a full exemption from paying any council tax.

More information on reductions and discounts.

Did the deceased live alone?

If so, what will happen to their property now? A lot will depend on whether they owned their home or were renting.

Homeowners

If the deceased owned their home will it be sold? You may need to apply for probate before any sale can take place.

  • Any property left empty following the death of the owner is exempt from paying council tax for six months from the date of death.
  • If it is still empty after six months, a further 6 month exemption may be given if it remains unfurnished. From 1 April 2013, this additional period will reduce to 4 weeks only.
  • If the property is left furnished it will still qualify for a six month exemption from the date of death, but after that time council tax will become payable in full.
  • If probate or letters of administration are applied for, the deceased’s home will be exempt from paying council tax from the date of death until the date probate is granted.
  • Once probate is granted the same exemption entitlement applies as above.

More about reductions for unoccupied properties.

Tenants

If the deceased rented their home you will need to tell us the date their tenancy officially ended. This may be a few weeks after the date of death to allow for furniture or personal effects to be removed from the property.

You will also need to give the name and address of the landlord (if known).

The property will be exempt from paying council tax from the date of death until the date the tenancy ends.

Was the deceased in hospital or living in a nursing or residential care home immediately prior to their death?

If the deceased was in hospital or a nursing home and they did not return to their home for any period before they died, they may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of council tax payable.

If they lived alone they will be exempt from paying council tax from the date they went into hospital or a nursing home.

If there was only one person left in their property, that person will be entitled to a 25 per cent discount from the date the deceased went into hospital or a nursing home.

How to apply for a discount or exemption

Discounts must be applied for in writing, either by completing an application form or by letter.​

Contact

Council tax
Council Tax Team
Po Box 58993
Bromley Road
Se6 9gz
Tel:
020 8690 9666
 
 

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