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Council Tax exemptions

Should your property be exempt from paying Council Tax?

Some properties are exempt from Council Tax. There are time limits for how long some of the exemptions can be allowed. If you think your property should be exempt from Council Tax, contact us for advice on how to apply. We may ask you to provide some supporting evidence but will tell you about this when you speak to us.

An occupied property can be exempt from Council Tax if it:
  • It is only occupied by students
  • ​All the residents are severely mentally impaired
  • All the residents are less than 18 years of age
  • The property is annexed to a family home and occupied by that family's elderly or disabled relatives (often known as 'granny flats')
  • At least one of the people liable to pay Council Tax is a foreign diplomat
  • At least one of the people liable to pay Council Tax is a member of a visiting force. 
 An unoccupied property can be exempt from Council Tax if it:
  • Requires or is undergoing major repairs or is undergoing structural alterations (maximum 12 months)
  • Was occupied by a person who was liable for Council Tax but has died and probate or letters of administration have not yet been granted following their death.
  • Is owned by a charity
  • Is unfurnished (maximum 6 months)
  • Was left empty by someone who has gone to prison, a detention centre or secure hospital
  • Was left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home, or elsewhere
  • Is empty because occupation is forbidden by law
  • Is waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • Was left empty by someone who has moved out to provide personal care to another person (If applicable please complete the e-form on the following link - Council Tax - Notification of Admission to a Care Home or Hospital)
  • Is owned by a student and was last occupied by that student
  • Has been repossessed
  • Is the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
  • Is a site for a caravan or mobile home, or a mooring for a boat
Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

There is an exemption from the charge for up to six months for properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished, this is then followed by a charge of 50% after the exemption has finished. NB the period of the exemption begins from the date that furniture is removed from the unoccupied property regardless of any changes in liability or ownership.

To be classed as substantially unfurnished there cannot be any furniture or furnishings at the property other than carpets, curtains and items that are fixtures. In order to grant this exemption, we may need to arrange a visit to your property. We can also request to inspect the property at any time after the exemption has been granted.

Unoccupied and furnished properties and second homes

There is no discount for unoccupied and furnished properties or second homes unless one of the following applies:

  • it is a pitch occupied by a caravan or mooring occupied by a boat
  • the liable person is also the liable person at another property which is job related, for example a publican
  • where the liable person is a member of the armed forces and another home is provided for them by the Ministry of Defence
Applying for an exemption

For students and severely mentally impaired you can apply online: Access your Council Tax Account online
For other applications please contact the revenues mail box for further information: 

Please note: while you are waiting to hear the result of an application for exemption, you must continue to pay your current bill, if you are finding this difficult you must contact us immediately.

After the exemption has been granted

If the Council Tax charge is reduced a new bill will be issued showing how much to pay.

If an exemption is granted, we will make periodic checks that it should remain in place including checks with outside organisations such as credit agencies. We may ask you to provide information or evidence that helps us to do this. Failing to supply this information could mean the exemption is cancelled.

Please remember, if the circumstances relating to the exemption change, you must tell us immediately.

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