Council tax is charged on every residential property that has been valued and banded for council tax purposes. However there are certain circumstances where the liable person will not be required to pay council tax. This is because the property is exempt.
Exemptions are calculated on a daily basis and many are time limited. For the period of the exemption, no council tax is payable for dwellings that fall into one of the following classes:
Class A a property which requires major repair to make it habitable or undergoing structural alteration, for a period of up to 12 months. From 1 April 2013 this exemption no longer exists, it has been replaced by a local discount.
Class B Unoccupied and owned by a charity. This exemption applies whether or not the property contains furniture. On expiry of the exemption period the property will become a long term empty property and will then be liable for 100% charge.
Class C Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. From 1 April 2013 this exemption no longer exists, it has been replaced by a local discount.
Class D Empty due to person being in prison (except for non payment of council tax or a fine). The property may be either furnished or unfurnished but cannot apply if there is someone still living in the property.
Class E Empty due to person having gone to live in a hospital or care home.
Class F Council tax payer deceased (leaving property unoccupied). Exemption continues for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration. On expiry of the exemption period the property will become a long term empty property and will then be liable for 100% charge.
Class G Occupation prohibited by law. Exemption applies where the property remains unoccupied.
Class H Unoccupied property being held for a minister of religion.
Class I Person living elsewhere to receive personal care (leaving property empty).
Class J Person living elsewhere to provide personal care (leaving property empty).
Class K Property left empty by a student, where a student is the owner of the property and, when last occupied was the sole or main residence of the student and no one else other than students lived there. The exemption applies as long as the person remains a student.
Class L A property that has been repossessed by a mortgagee, such as a bank or building society (the government has passed legislation to abolish this exemption but this has not yet been implemented).
Class M Students' Halls of residence. Exemption applies to occupied properties.
Class N Property occupied only by students.
Class O UK Armed Forces accommodation.
Class P Visiting Forces accommodation.
Class Q Property left empty by a bankrupt person. The exemption applies whether the unoccupied dwelling is furnished or not.
Class R Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring.
Class S Property occupied by persons under 18 years of age only.
Class T Unoccupied separately banded property forming part of another property or situated within the curtilage of another property, which cannot be let separately without a breach of the Town & Country Planning Act. This will often apply to a granny annex and applies whether the unoccupied dwelling is furnished or not.
Class U Property occupied only by severely mentally impaired person(s). This exemption does not apply to residential homes.
Class V Main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity.
Class W Occupied annexe to an occupied property. Exemption applies if the annexe forms part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and is the sole or main residence of a dependent relative (ie someone over 65 years of age, or a person who is either severely mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled) of a person who is resident in that other dwelling.
How do I apply?
Please complete the online Council Tax Exemptions and Discounts Form
Frequently asked questions
Q) If I do not have to pay why am I getting a zero bill?
You remain liable for council tax but at a zero rate. The bill will show you the full council tax liability for the property, any relevant discounts and any exemptions that you qualify for.
Q) Why does the bill show my exemption lasting until 31 March of the following year?
A) This is required by law, it is to ensure that during the period of the exemption you are not required to make any payments. When we set an exemption up for your property we will write to you to let you know the period your exemption runs from and to. Two weeks before your exemption period runs out a revised bill will be issued.
Q) During the period of the exemption my circumstances have changed what should I do?
A) You must tell us straight away if your circumstances change. If you do not tell us about a change in your circumstances within 21 days you are breaking the law and the Council can either impose a penalty or seek prosecution.
Q) What if my circumstances change?
You must tell us straight away if your circumstances have changed that would reduce the level of council tax support, discount or exemption that you are entitled to.
There is a formal right of appeal against decisions to refuse to grant exemptions or discounts, or against the completion date that we decide. You must continue to pay the billed level of council tax until your appeal has been resolved. If you wish to appeal, please see the Appeals section on this site.