​​​Apply for a council tax exemptionCancel a council tax exemption

If you qualify for an exemption we will revise your council tax bill and refund any overpaid amounts.

If you apply for an exemption, you must continue to pay the council tax on any bill you have already been sent. If you do not pay according to the bill sent to you, we will continue with recovery action.

You must tell us immediately there is a change of circumstances at your property, as this may affect how we calculate your bill.

Available exemptions

Unoccupied property owned by a registered charity
  • The property must be unoccupied and must be owned or leased by a registered charity. It must also have been last occupied by the charity.
  • The exemption will apply for a maximum of six months from the date last occupied.
Empty as liable person is in prison or detained in hospital
  • Property must be unoccupied. The liable person is in prison or in detention elsewhere (i.e. in a hospital) for the period related to the claim and the property must previously have been their sole or main residence.
Empty property previously occupied by a person now residing in a care home, hospital or hostel.
  • The empty property must previously have been the person’s sole or main residence. They must have been living in a care home, hostel or hospital for the entire period since they last lived in the property.
Liable person deceased.

When a property had been occupied by a single person, who either owned or rented the property and that person dies, the property is exempt from Council Tax payment for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted.

Following a grant of probate or letters of administration, a further six months exemption is possible as long as the property remains unoccupied and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.

It is important that the executor(s) keep the council tax office informed of:

  • the date probate is granted, details of the transfer or sale of the property or the end date of the tenancy
  • when the estate is settled

During this time the council may contact the executors to review entitlement to the exemption.

Six months from the date probate is granted the full council tax will be due to be paid by the executors of the estate.

When a property was previously occupied by two adults the Council Tax charge might have been in both names or only in the name of one of the occupants.

Providing only one person continues to live in the property we will transfer the Council Tax name solely into their name and grant a 25% single adult occupier discount.

Apply for a single adult occupier discount

Occupation prohibited by law
  • The property must be unoccupied and unfurnished.
  • Occupation must be prohibited by law (including a closing order or demolition order)
  • The exemption does not apply to actions between individuals or companies under contract law such as restriction orders and does not apply if the property is occupied by squatters who choose to occupy even though prohibited by law.
Held for Minister of religion
  • The property must be unoccupied, but need not be unfurnished. It must be held available for occupation by a Minister of any religious denomination, for the purpose of allowing him or her to perform the duties of office.
Person living elsewhere to receive personal care
  • The property must be unoccupied, and the person liable to pay must have been absent for the whole period since the dwelling last ceased to be their sole or main residence.
  • Their sole or main residence must be in another place which is not an NHS (Health Service) hospital, registered care home, mental nursing home or hostel and must have moved in order to receive personal care by reason of old age, disablement, illness, past or present mental disorder.
Person living elsewhere to provide personal care
  • Property must be unoccupied and must have previously been the liable person’s sole or main residence.
  • The liable person must have changed main residence for the purpose providing care for someone else and be better able to provide this care from their new home.
Left empty by a student.
  • Property must be unoccupied. An exemption only applies where the last resident was a student or if more than one, they were all students and the owner is a student.
  • The property must have been the sole or main residence of the owner up to the date it was last occupied. However an exemption does not apply if any non-students lived in the property.
Mortgagee in possession.
  • Property must be unoccupied and must have been repossessed by the mortgagee (the lender of money).
Students’ halls of residence.
  • Property must be provided predominantly for the accommodation of students and owned or managed by an educational institution.
Occupied only by students or students and their non-British spouses or dependants.
  • Property must be occupied by one or more residents all of whom are students or school or college leavers.
  • The liable person(s) must hold a freehold or leasehold interest or a licence to occupy the whole or part of the dwelling and must be living in the property as term-time address accommodation or have been previously used or have intention to use the dwelling as term-time accommodation.
  • The exemption includes non-British spouses, civil partners or dependants of students who are prevented by the terms of their entry visa to the UK from taking paid employment or claiming benefits.

For more information about students and to apply for an exemption visit

UK armed forces accommodation
  • This applies to living accommodation for UK armed forces which is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and must be held for the purposes of armed forces accommodation. The exemption applies whether the property is occupied or not.
Visiting forces accommodation
  • The property will be exempt where members of visiting forces would be liable for council tax if property is occupied or unoccupied.
  • The exemption also applies to their dependants where they are neither British Citizens or ordinarily resident in the UK.
  • Liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Property must be unoccupied but need not be unfurnished.
  • Must be in hands of a qualifying person in his/her capacity as a Trustee in Bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act 1914 or the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Exemption applies to property even if it is jointly owned however it does not cover unoccupied dwellings where the liable person is a company in liquidation or receivership.
Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • Caravan pitches and moorings for boats may be dwellings for the purpose of council tax. A pitch or mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or boat is exempt for the whole of any period during which the situation exists.
Occupied by under eighteen year olds only
  • With effect from 1 April 1995 a property that is occupied only by under eighteen year olds is exempt so the owner will not be liable to pay in these circumstances.
Unoccupied annexe
  • With effect from 1 April 1995 an unoccupied property of the sort commonly referred to as 'granny annexes' but can extend to other types of dwelling, is exempt. This type of property relates to those that form part of premises which included another property and where the unoccupied annexe cannot be let separately from the other property without a breach of planning control. The property need not be unfurnished and will continue even if the other property becomes empty.
Occupied by severely mentally impaired persons only
  • A property that is occupied by a liable person who is severely mentally impaired is exempt. The exemption may also apply to a property jointly occupied by one or more of the above who lives with a full time student.
  • The relevant person must be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits as listed on the claim form and a doctor must certify severe mental impairment. This exemption only applies where the severely mentally impaired person would be liable for council tax. If someone else is liable, e.g. a property classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or care homes, the exemption does not apply.
Property which is the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Properties where one of the liable persons is a diplomat or member of an international organisation headquartered in the UK. An exemption can only be granted if the liable persons status is verified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
  • This exemption came into effect from 1 April 1997.
Annexe occupied by dependant relative
  • This exemption applies to a dwelling which forms part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and is the sole or main residence of a dependant relative living in that other dwelling.
  • The property must be occupied by a dependent relative who is defined as; a person aged 65 years or more, a person who is substantially and permanently disabled or severely mentally impaired for the purpose of council tax.
  • This exemption came into effect from 1 April 1997.