Council Tax Exemptions
The Council Tax regulations mean that there will be a Council Tax charge for all domestic properties, unless they are classed as exempt. The Government decides which type of property will be exempt. Some types of property will be exempt as long as certain conditions apply. Others will pay a reduced rate after a fixed period of time.
Exempt Property Classifications
The various types of exempt property and the classes that they fall into are shown below:
Class B - Vacant properties owned by charities
Property which is unoccupied and was last used for charitable purposes. The exemption will apply for 6 months from when it was occupied providing the charity is still the owner and the property remains unoccupied.
Class D - Properties left empty by person in detention or prison
An unoccupied, probably furnished, property where the previous resident is in prison or some other form of detention and there are no other people living there. The period of exemption will last as long as the property is unoccupied.
Class E - Property left empty by patients in homes or hospital
An unoccupied property which was occupied only by a person who is now permanently resident in hospital, a residential care home or hostel, because they are receiving care or treatment.
Class F - Property in probate
An unoccupied property where the person who would have to pay the council tax has died and there is no other person living in the property. The executor of the estate will not have to pay council tax until probate has been granted. Once probate or letters of administration have been granted the executor will have a further six months exemption before having to pay the full charge.
Class G - Occupation prohibited by law
This applies to an unoccupied property which is subject to some form of order, such as a closing order, compulsory purchase order or planning condition, which prevent occupation of the property. This exemption will not apply if the property remains furnished, or if the premises are occupied in defiance of the law.
Class H - Property for a minister of religion
An unoccupied property being held available to be lived in by a minister of religion to carry out the duties of office.
Class I - Person living somewhere else to receive personal care
The person affected must be living somewhere else but not in a residential care home, hospital or nursing home. They must live at the other property to be receiving personal care because of old age, disablement, illness, alcohol or drug dependence or mental disorder. Their home will be exempt until the time the property is either sold or reoccupied.
Class J - Person living somewhere else to provide personal care
This covers a property left empty by someone who is providing care for an illness explained in class I. To be exempt it needs to be shown that the person can provide better care from their 'new' home.
Class K - Property left empty by a student
An unoccupied property, owned by a student, where the last occupier was a student. This also applies if the last occupier becomes a student within six weeks of leaving the property. If any occupant is not a student the exemption will not apply.
Class L - Repossessed properties
An unoccupied property where the mortgage lender (bank or building society) has repossessed the property.
Class M - Halls of residence
A property that is provided for the accommodation of students. The property does not have to be unoccupied to qualify for the exemption. The property has to be owned or managed by an educational institution, but if not, the institution must have the right to nominate the majority of the residents who will live in the property.
Class N - Properties occupied only by students
This exemption includes properties occupied only by students, school or college leavers or the spouses/partners or dependants of the students. The exemption will apply during vacations providing there is an intention to return to the property by the students. If there are any non-students living in the property the exemption will not apply. This rule applies even if one of the occupants was a student but who has now left the course.
Class O - Armed forces accommodation
To qualify for exemption these properties must be owned by the secretary of state for defence and be used to house United Kingdom armed forces. The property can be occupied or empty to qualify for exemption.
Class P - Visiting forces
A property occupied by a person with a connection with a visiting force, who would otherwise be liable for Council Tax. This exemption still applies if a dependant is also resident.
Class Q - Property left empty by a bankrupt person
An unoccupied property where the previous occupier is now bankrupt and the property is held by the trustee in bankruptcy.
Class R - Unoccupied caravan pitch or mooring
A pitch or mooring that is occupied by a mooring or boat.
Class S - Property occupied by under 18's only
An exemption will apply where the property is occupied by people under the age of 18. The exemption is cancelled as soon as one of the residents reaches the age of 18.
Class T - Unoccupied annexe
An unoccupied property which is an annexe to, or in the grounds of, the owners main home. The exemption will apply if planning restrictions mean that the annexe cannot be let separately.
Class U - Property occupied by people who are severely mentally impaired
This exemption applies where the only, or all, the residents are considered to be severely mentally impaired. To qualify the person(s) must have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which is permanent. To qualify the application has to be signed by a doctor, and the person must be receiving certain state benefits.
Class V - Main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity
The property has to be occupied as the main residence of a person who has diplomatic privilege or immunity. There are certain conditions that have to be met before exemption can be granted, we can supply more information on request.
Class W - Occupied annexe to an occupied property
A property which is part of another property which is a dependant relative, an example might be a 'granny flat'
Please remember these are general definitions. If you need more information about liability to council tax or exempt property, please contact us.