Council tax reductions for unoccupied properties
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Council tax reductions for unoccupied properties

Exemption class​ Description​ Duration of exemption​
A​

An unoccupied property requiring or undergoing major structural repair to make it habitable.

From 1 April 2013 no reduction is available. Before this date a maximum of 12 months. If the property requires major structural work to make it habitable you may apply to have it removed from the rating list.​

B​

Unfurnished property owned by charities.​

Six months since it was last occupied (as long as the property was last occupied by members of the charity).​

C​

Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property.

From 1 April 2013 4 weeks since it was last occupied. Before this date a maximum of 6 months.

After the 4 weeks have expired no further discount is available.​

D​

A property that is unoccupied because the previous occupant is in prison or has been detained under the Mental Health Act. ​

As long as the person is detained.​

E​

A property that is unoccupied because the previous occupant has now moved permanently to either a hospital, a residential care home or a nursing home.​

F​

Unoccupied property, where the sole occupier is now deceased. ​

Until probate or a letter of administration is granted or for a period of up to six months after the date when probate or a letter of administration is granted.

If the property remains unoccupied longer than six months after the grant of probate, a further reduction may be given. If the property is unfurnished it may qualify for a further period of exemption for up to 4 weeks Class C.

G​

Unoccupied property where occupation is prohibited by the law.

As of 1 April 2007, this exemption also applies if a planning condition prevents occupancy.​

As long as occupation is prohibited. ​

H​

Unoccupied property held for occupation by ministers of religion.​

As long as the property remains empty. ​

I​

Unoccupied property previously the main home of a person now living elsewhere and receiving personal care (but not in a hospital or nursing home).​

As long as the property remains empty.​

J​

Unoccupied property previously the main home of a person now living elsewhere for the purposes of providing personal care. ​

As long as the property remains empty.​

K​

Unoccupied property previously the main home of students only. ​

As long as the property remains empty.​

L​

An unoccupied property that has been repossessed by a mortgagee such as a bank or building society.​

Until the property is sold. ​

M​

Properties that are university or college halls of residence or hostels owned by charitable bodies used solely for student accommodation.​

Indefinite.​

N​

Property occupied only by full-time students as their term-time address.

More about students and council tax. ​

As long as all the occupants remain full-time students. ​

O​

Barracks, messes and married quarters used by the armed forces. ​

This exemption is indefinite and is granted whether this property is occupied or not. ​

P​

Property occupied by members of visiting forces. ​

Indefinite. ​

Q​

Unoccupied property where the liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy. ​

Indefinite.​

R​

A pitch not occupied by a caravan or a mooring not occupied by a boat.​

Indefinite.​

S​

A dwelling occupied solely by a person or persons aged under 18.

As people under the age of 18 cannot be held liable for council tax, the owner, landlord or guardian will be made liable but given the exemption.​

Until the occupant becomes 18. ​

T​

Unoccupied ‘granny’ annexes.​

Indefinite.​

U​

Dwellings occupied only by the severely mentally impaired.  From 1 April 1999 this also applies to properties occupied by both full time students and people who are severely mentally impaired.

More about council tax and people with severe mental impairments.​

As long as all of the occupants are severely mentally impaired. ​

V​

Dwellings which are the main residence of a diplomat or persons working for certain international organisations. ​

Indefinite.​

W​

From 1 April 1997 self contained 'granny' annexes that are occupied by a dependant relative aged 65 or over or by someone who is severely disabled are exempt. ​

Indefinite.​

Empty but furnished property

From 1 April 2013 there will no longer be any reduction available if you own a property which is not anyone’s sole or main residence and is furnished. Before this date you may have been entitled to a 10 per cent discount.

A second home

From 1 April 2013 there will no longer be any reduction available if you own or rent a second or holiday home. Before this date you may have been entitled to a 10 per cent discount.  

Long term empty properties

From 1 April 2013 any property which has been empty for 2 years or longer will attract a long term empty premium and will have to pay 150 per cent of the council tax charge.

Occupied annexes

From 1 April 2014 any self contained annexe occupied by a relative (regardless of age or disability) will qualify for a 50% discount. If the relative is dependant, severely disabled or aged 65 or over the annexe will continue to be exempt under Class W.

Contact

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