Some homes may be exempt from Council Tax. This depends on the reason they are empty or the special circumstances of the people who live in them.

Apply for a Council Tax exemption

Cancel a Council Tax exemption

Occupied properties

The following are exempt from Council Tax. There are specific criteria that must be met for each exemption:

  • lived in only by full time students. If the husband, wife or dependant of a student is not a British citizen and their visa prevents them from taking paid employment or claiming benefits, the exemption will still apply as long as the other person is a student
  • lived in only by people below the age of 18
  • a property which forms part of a single property including at least one other property (granny flat) and which is the only or main residence of a dependant relative of someone in the main property
  • lived in by a foreign diplomat or senior official of certain international organisations or Forces barracks and married quarters
  • lived in only by people who are severely mentally impaired (subject to qualifying criteria below)
  • Qualifying criteria for severely mentally impaired Council Tax exemption
  • More information about Council Tax discounts and exemptions

Empty properties

The following are exempt from Council Tax. There are specific criteria that must be met for each exemption. If the property is or has been:

  • owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months)
  • left empty by someone who is now in prison
  • left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home, such as a nursing home
  • Repossessed (in possession of the mortgage company)
  • waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted, and for up to six months after
  • the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
  • empty because the law has said it must not be lived in
  • waiting to be lived in by a minister of religion
  • left empty by students who live elsewhere to carry out their course
  • unable to be let separately because it is part of a main property or there is a planning restriction

There is no Council Tax discount for empty or unoccupied properties, the full Council Tax is payable unless it is exempt for one of the above reasons.

An Empty Property Premium of 50% above the full Council Tax is payable once the property has been empty and unfurnished for more than two years. If you have purchased a property that has previously been empty and unfurnished for more than two years the Empty Property Premium will still apply. A change of ownership will not change the date the Empty Property Premium was applied.

If you own an exempt property, you do not receive a Council Tax bill but you are sent an Exempt Dwelling Notification.

Properties having structural alterations or repairs

Properties requiring or undergoing structural repairs, or those that are uninhabitable, are no longer exempt and no discount will apply. A full Council Tax charge will be payable.

Second homes discount

There is no reduction on second homes.

Find out more about Council Tax exemption criteria