Find out if your property might be exempt from council tax.

There are several reasons why a property may be exempt from council tax.

Some exemptions are time limited, but others will last until there is a change in circumstances. 

We inspect all unoccupied properties as soon we can after they first become empty, and from time to time while they remain unoccupied. If we need to inspect the property, the owner must allow us access. If not, we may cancel the discount or exemption we have given you and you may have to pay the full council tax. 

Exemptions

Owned by a charity (class B)

This exemption applies to unoccupied properties that charities own, as long as the property was last occupied for the purposes of the charity. 

This exemption applies whether or not the property contains furniture. 

The exemption lasts for up to 6 months from the date the property becomes unoccupied. 

Apply

To apply for this exemption, you must provide: 

  • The date the property became unoccupied 
  • Evidence that the charity owns the property 
  • Evidence that, immediately before it became unoccupied, the property was occupied for the purposes of the charity 

Send your application to us using the contact details on this page. 

Prisoners and other people in detention (class D)

This exemption applies where a property is unoccupied because the person responsible for paying the council tax, and who lived in the property as their only or main home, has been detained in a prison, in a hospital or somewhere else, by the order of a UK court or an Armed Forces' Standing Civilian Court. 

This includes: 

  • People detained under the deportation provisions of the Immigration Act 1971 
  • People detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. 

This does not include: 

  • People in police custody until they are remanded in custody by a court 
  • People detained for non-payment of council tax or a fine 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as the property is unoccupied and the person responsible for paying the council tax is in detention. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax discount for a prisoner or person in detention

We will contact the place where the person is detained to confirm details of the application. 

People who have gone into a hospital or home to receive care (class E)

This exemption applies where a property is left unoccupied because the person responsible for paying the council tax, and who lives there as their only or main home, has gone into a hospital, a nursing home or a care home to receive care. 

This exemption does not apply if: 

  • The stay in a hospital or a home is temporary and where the person expects to return home at some point 
  • The person has gone to live with someone else or has moved somewhere that is not regarded as a hospital or home, to receive similar care (in this case, Class I exemption may apply) 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as the property is unoccupied and the person responsible for paying the council tax remains in care. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide details about where the person is receiving care and when they moved there. 

People who have died (class F)

This exemption remains active until 6 months after the granting of probate or letters of administration. 

After this date, 100% of the council tax becomes payable if the property is unoccupied. 

If the property is unoccupied and unfurnished for longer than 2 years after the exemption period expires, 150% of the council tax will be payable. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • When the person died 
  • Confirmation that the property is unoccupied 
  • Contact details for the authorised representative of the person who has died

Occupation prohibited by law (class G)

This includes those properties where: 

  • Planning consent specifically bans the use of the property as a home (for example, holiday chalets and caravans) 
  • The property is subject to a closing or closure order (for example, properties that are unfit for human habitation, or that are closed at the request of the police) 
  • Action has been taken to acquire the property using an Act of Parliament 

This exemption stops if someone occupies the property illegally. 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as the property is unoccupied, and the ban stays in place. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • The date it became illegal to live in the property 
  • The reason why it became illegal to live in the property 
  • Any relevant evidence, such as a copy of a prohibition order 

Held for a minister of religion (class H)

Properties that are held available for a minister of religion (of any recognised denomination) to perform the duties of their office are exempt from council tax. 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as the property is unoccupied and is being held for a minister of religion. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • The date the property became unoccupied 
  • The name and address of the person or organisation that is holding the unoccupied dwelling 

People who have moved to somewhere other than a hospital or home to receive care (class I)

This exemption applies where a property is left unoccupied because the person responsible for paying the council tax has moved to receive care for: 

  • Old age 
  • Disability 
  • Illness (including alcohol or drug dependency) 
  • Past or present mental disorder 

If the person has moved to a hospital, nursing home or a care home, a Class E exemption may apply instead. 

To qualify, the person's absence from the exempt property needs to be fairly permanent. 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as the property is unoccupied and the person who lived there is cared for elsewhere. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • Details about why the person is in need of care (refer to the criteria above) 
  • Their new address 
  • The date they moved there

People providing care (class J)

This exemption applies if: 

  • The unoccupied property was your only or main home 
  • You have moved to provide care for someone else because of their: 
  • Old age 
  • Disabilities 
  • Illness (including alcohol or drug dependency) 
  • Past or present mental disorder 

You do not need to live in the same property as the person who needs care, but it is essential that you can provide care more easily from your new home than you could have done from the exempt property. 

Your absence from the exempt property needs to be fairly permanent. 

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as your home is unoccupied and you are providing care elsewhere. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • The name and address of the person for whom you are providing care 
  • Why the person is in need of care (refer to the criteria above) 
  • The date you moved out of your home 
  • Your new address 

Left unoccupied by a student (class K)

This exemption applies if: 

  • You have become a student within 6 weeks of leaving the property 
  • More than one person lived in the property, but you were all students or have become students within 6 weeks of leaving it 

This exemption continues only for as long as you remain a student. 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, you need to provide: 

  • The date you left the property 
  • Your new address 
  • The original of your council tax student certificate (we will not accept copies) 

Send your application to us using the contact details on this page.

Mortgage lenders in possession (class L)

If the mortgage lender takes possession of the property while you are living in it, you, as the owner or occupier, must continue to pay council tax on it. Once the property is unoccupied, it will be exempt from council tax.  

If the mortgage lender takes possession of an unoccupied property, no-one has to pay council tax on it until either the lender gives up possession or sells the property. 

If the mortgage lender obtains a court order granting possession, but does not take possession immediately, the person in actual possession (normally the person who took out the loan) must pay the full council tax, unless another discount or exemption applies. This will be the case until the mortgage lender takes possession. 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, you need to provide: 

  • The date the mortgage lender took possession 
  • The name and address of the mortgage lender 

Send your application to us using the contact details on this page.

Student halls of residence (class M)

Schools, colleges, universities or charities that own properties used for student accommodation, are exempt from paying council tax.   

There is no time limit on this exemption. It remains active for as long as you use the property as halls of residence. 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, please send details of the halls of residence to us, using the contact details on this page.

Occupied only by students or by foreign partners or dependants of students (class N)

This exemption applies if each person living in the property is: 

  • A full-time student, or 
  • A school or college leaver, or 
  • A non-British spouse, partner or dependant of a student who is prevented, under the terms of their leave to enter or remain in the UK, from taking paid employment or claiming benefits 

Apply if you are a full-time student 

To apply for this exemption, you need to get a council tax student certificate from the administration office at your school, college or university. 

Please post or email the certificate to us using the contact details on this page. 

Full-time student definition 

A full-time student is: 

  • Someone who is doing a full-time course of further or higher education at a university or any other college 
  • Someone who is under the age of 20 years and who is doing a course, which: 
  • Is not full time 
  • Lasts at least 3 months 
  • Mainly provides tuition other than through correspondence 
  • Requires at least 12 hours a week of supervised study, exercise, experiment, project or practical work, normally carried out between 8am and 5.30pm 
  • Leads to a qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard (not higher education) 
  • Someone who is who is working as a foreign language assistant at a school or other educational institute in Great Britain and who is registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges as a foreign language assistant 

Full-time course definition 

A full-time course: 

  • Lasts at least one academic or calendar year, and 
  • Normally requires an average of at least 21 hours a week of study, tuition or work experience (whether at university or college or somewhere else) for at least 24 weeks in each academic or calendar year  

If you are doing a full-time course of further or higher education at a university or any other college in any member state of the European Union and your only or main home is in England or Wales, you may qualify as a student for council tax purposes. 

Apply if you are a school or college leaver 

To apply for this exemption, you need to get a certificate or letter from the administration office at your school or college confirming your attendance there. 

Please post or email the certificate or letter to us using the contact details on this page. 

School or college leaver definition 

A school or college leaver is: 

  • An 18 or 19-year-old who has left school or college but still claims child benefit. This usually applies to a young people who left school or sixth form college in the summer, with the intention of going on to further or higher education later in the year 

Apply if you are a non-British spouse, partner or dependant of a student 

You will need to provide: 

  • A copy of your passport 
  • A copy of your entry visa, showing the restrictions on your stay in the UK 
  • A council tax student certificate (original, not a copy) 
  • Documentary evidence of your relationship to the student (original, not a copy) 

Please send the documents to us using the contact details on this page.

Armed forces' accommodation (class O)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) provides us with details of qualifying military accommodation. 

Although the MOD is not liable to pay council tax on these homes, it makes a payment to us roughly equal to the council tax that it would have had to pay for each property if they were not exempt.

Visiting forces' accommodation (class P)

This exemption applies to visiting forces from countries outlined in the Visiting Forces Act 1952: 

Antigua and Barbuda 

Germany 

Mauritius 

St Christopher and Nevis 

Australia 

Ghana 

Nauru 

St Lucia 

Bahamas 

Granada 

Netherlands 

St Vincent and Grenadines 

Bangladesh 

Greece 

New Hebrides 

Swaziland 

Barbados 

Guyana 

New Zealand 

Tanzania 

Belgium 

India 

Nigeria 

Tonga 

Belize 

Italy 

Norway 

Trinidad and Tobago 

Botswana 

Jamaica 

Pakistan 

Turkey 

Brunei 

Kenya 

Papua New Guinea 

Tuvalu 

Canada 

Kiribati 

Portugal 

Uganda 

Cyprus 

Lesotho 

Seychelles 

USA 

Denmark 

Luxembourg 

Sierra Leone 

Western Samoa 

Dominica 

Malawi 

Singapore 

Zambia 

Fiji 

Malaysia 

Solomon Islands 

Zimbabwe 

France 

Maldives 

Spain 

 

Gambia 

Malta 

Sri Lanka 

 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, please call us using the contact details on this page. 

Trustees in bankruptcy (class Q)

This exemption does not apply if you are the person(s) made bankrupt and you are still living in the property.  

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, you need to provide: 

  • The address of the property 
  • The date when the property became unoccupied 
  • The name and current address of the person(s) declared bankrupt 
  • The date the bankruptcy was made 
  • The name and address of the trustee 

Send your application to us using the contact details on this page. 

Caravan pitches and boat moorings (class R)

When your residential caravan is on a pitch or your residential boat is on a mooring, you must pay council tax on it. If you move it off the pitch or mooring, you can apply for an exemption. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • The address of the pitch or mooring 
  • The date you removed the caravan or boat 

Occupied only by people under the age of 18 (class S)

If all the people living in a property are under the age of 18, they do not have to pay council tax on it. 

Apply 

Print off and complete the property occupied only by people under the age of 18 application form. 

Send the form and a copy of each resident's birth certificate to us using the contact details on this page. 

Unoccupied annexes (class T)

If you have an unoccupied annexe that you cannot let separately because of planning rules, you do not have to pay council tax on it. 

In these circumstances, you do not have to pay council tax on the unoccupied annexe, even if the main property is occupied. 

Apply 

Apply for a council tax exemption

You need to provide: 

  • The address of the annexe 
  • The date it became unoccupied 
  • Details of the planning restrictions on it 

Severely mentally impaired (class U)

For council tax purposes, a person who has a severe mental disability or mental illness (however caused), which appears to be permanent, is said to be severely mentally impaired. 

To be eligible for this exemption, all the people living in the property must be entitled to one of the following benefits (or would been entitled to one of them if he or she had not already reached state pension age): 

  • Incapacity benefit 
  • Attendance allowance 
  • Severe disablement allowance 
  • Care part of the disability living allowance 
  • Daily living part of Personal Independence Payment 
  • An increase in disablement pension, where constant attendance is needed 
  • Disability working allowance 
  • Unemployability supplement 
  • Constant attendance allowance payable with disablement benefit or war disablement pension 
  • Unemployability allowance payable with war disablement pension 
  • Income support disability premium 

You can find a complete description of each of the benefits above on the application form. 

Apply 

To apply, print off and complete the severe mental impairment disregard application form. 

The form is in two parts: 

  • Part 1 - must be completed by the applicant 
  • Part 2 - must be completed by a doctor 

Please send the form and proof of the severely mentally impaired person's benefit entitlement to us using the contact details on this page. 

A separate form must be completed for each person who is severely mentally impaired and living in the property. 

Diplomats (class V)

People with diplomatic privileges and immunity under the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, the Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1968 or the Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1985 do not have to pay council tax. 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, contact us in writing using the details on this page. 

You need to provide: 

  • The name of the diplomat 
  • The address of the property 
  • The date the diplomat moved into the property  
  • The name of the country the diplomat represents  
  • Evidence of the person's diplomatic status (copy of passport) 

Annexes lived in by dependant relatives (class W)

If you live in a property split into more than one home and are a dependant relative of someone living in the other, you don't have to pay council tax. 

The most common example of this type of property is a house with an annexe. 

To qualify for this exemption, it must be your only or main home, and you must be one or more of the following: 

  • Aged 65 years or more 
  • Severely mentally impaired 
  • Substantially and permanently disabled 

You must also be related to the person that you depend on. 

A dependent relative is defined as: 

  • Spouse, man and woman living together as husband and wife, civil partner, partners of the same sex living together as civil partners 
  • Parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grand parent 
  • Child, grandchild, great-grandchild, great-great-grandchild 
  • Brother, sister 
  • Uncle, great-uncle, great-great-uncle 
  • Aunt, great-aunt, great-great-aunt 
  • Nephew, great-nephew, great-great-nephew 
  • Niece, great- niece, great-great-niece 

Relationships 

For the purpose of this council tax exemption, we treat: 

  • Relationship by marriage as a relationship by blood 
  • A man and woman living together as husband and wife, as a married couple 
  • Two partners of the same sex living together as civil partners, or as if they are civil partners, as relatives 
  • A step child as your child 

Apply 

To apply for this exemption, print off and complete the annexe exemption application form and send the form to us using the details on this page. 


Contact us