If you qualify for a discount or exemption we will revise your council tax bill and refund any overpaid amounts. We will write to you if your request is not accepted.

If you apply for a discount or 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 - see Non-Payment of Council Tax.

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

On this page

Available exemptions

Some properties, whether occupied or not occupied, are exempt from council tax. This page lists the types of property that are exempt, and how to apply for an exemption. Click on the link below to see more details.

  • Class A: An uninhabitable property requiring or undergoing major repairs or structural alterations (unavailable from 1 April 2013)
  • Class B: Unoccupied property owned by a registered charity
  • Class C: Empty for up to six months (unavailable from 1 April 2013)
  • Class D: Empty as liable person being in prison or detained in hospital
  • Class E: Empty property previously occupied by a person now residing in a care home, hospital or hostel.
  • Class F: The council tax payer has died
  • Class G: Occupation prohibited by law
  • Class H: Held for Minister of religion
  • Class I: Person living elsewhere to receive personal care
  • Class J: Person living elsewhere to provide personal care
  • Class K: Left empty by a student
  • Class L: Mortgagee in possession
  • Class M: Students' halls of residence
  • Class N: Occupied only by students or students and their non-British spouses, civil partners or dependants
  • Class O: UK armed forces accommodation
  • Class P: Visiting forces accommodation
  • Class Q: Liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy
  • Class R: Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • Class S: Occupied by under eighteen year olds only
  • Class T: Unoccupied annexe
  • Class U: Occupied by severely mentally impaired persons only
  • Class V: Property which is the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
  • Class W: Annexe occupied by dependant relative

Exemptions - full details

Class A

Unfurnished and unoccupied property which needed structural alterations or major repairs to render it habitable.

This exemption will be unavailable from 1 April 2013.

You can apply for a backdated exemption only if the following conditions existed

  • Unfurnished and unoccupied property which needed structural alterations or major repairs to render it habitable.
  • This exemption applied for a maximum period of 12 months only up to 1 April 2013.
  • If a property remained empty after work was completed an exemption could apply for up to six months. However, the maximum six months could only apply if the work was completed in six months or less – thus limiting the total exemption to 12 months.

Apply for a backdated council tax exemption for uninhabitable property (Class A)

Class B

Unoccupied property owned by a registered charity.

  • The property must be unoccupied, but need not be unfurnished and must be owned or leased by a registered charity. It must also have been last occupied by the charity for the purpose of the charity's objectives.
  • The exemption will apply for a maximum of six months from the date last occupied.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class C

Empty for up to six months.

This exemption will be unavailable from 1 April 2013.

You can apply for a backdated exemption only if the following conditions existed

  • If a property was unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, an exemption could apply for a maximum of six months from the date it became both empty and unfurnished only up to 1 April 2013
  • Only one six month exemption could apply to a property regardless of change of owners
  • For new properties the exemption applied from the date on the completion notice.

Apply for a backdated council tax exemption for unfurnished and unoccupied property (Class C)

Class D

Empty as liable person being in prison or detained in hospital.

  • Property must be unoccupied, but need not be unfurnished. 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 his/her sole or main residence.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class E

Empty property previously occupied by a person now residing in a care home, hospital or hostel.

  • The empty property must previously have been the sole or main residence for the absent person. The absent person must have been living in a care home, hostel or hospital for the entire period since he or she was last living in the property.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class F

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.
  • There are rules about sole beneficiaries and how council tax is charged.

During this time the council may contact the executors periodically 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 online for a single adult occupier discount)

This is a general guide to council tax and deceased persons, and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class G

Occupation prohibited by law.

  • The property must be unoccupied and unfurnished.
  • Occupation must be prohibited by law (including a closing order or demolition order) or kept unoccupied by reason of action taken under powers granted by or under any Act of Parliament with a view to prohibiting its occupation or to acquiring it such as a compulsory purchase 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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class H

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class I

Person living elsewhere to receive personal care.

  • The property must be unoccupied, but need not be unfurnished and the person liable to pay must have been absent for the whole period since the dwelling last ceased to be his/her sole or main residence.
  • Sole/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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class J

Person living elsewhere to provide personal care.

  • Property must be unoccupied but need not be unfurnished and must have previously been the liable persons sole/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.
  • The reasons care is required are same as class I above

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class K

Left empty by a student.

  • Property must be unoccupied but need not be unfurnished and 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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class L

Mortgagee in possession.

  • Property must be unoccupied but need not be unfurnished and must have been repossessed by the mortgagee (the lender of money).

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class M

Students' halls of residence.

  • Property must be provided predominantly for the accommodation of students and owned or managed by an educational institution.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class N

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 and/or school/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 Council tax and students

Apply for a student exemption

Class O

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class P

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class Q

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class R

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class S

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class T

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class U

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.  

Apply online for council a tax exemption

See also: Dementia services

Class V

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Class W

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.

Apply online for council a tax exemption

Cancelling a council tax discount, exemption or property reduction for disabilities

If you wish to cancel a council tax discount, exemption or property reduction for disabilities please complete the form below

Cancel a council tax discount, exemption or property reduction for disabilities

See also

Related websites

Contact us

Local Taxation Section
London Borough of Merton
PO Box No 559
Morden
SM4 5ZY

Phone: 020 8274 4904
Fax: 020 8545 3960
Email: local.taxation@merton.gov.uk

We are no longer able to attend to personal visitors at the Civic Centre. You can email us anytime or telephone between 9am and 5pm.