Empty Property Exemptions
Details of exemptions that are available where no one is living in the property.
If you have a property that is empty and/or unoccupied, then you may be able to apply for an exemption from paying council tax. In some cases the property will also need to be substantially unfurnished. Below is a list of the different circumstances that may attract such an exemption.
Class B (Dwellings owned by charities)
An unoccupied dwelling which is owned by a charity and which was last occupied in furtherance of the objects of the charity. As this exemption applies to unoccupied properties, it follows that the exemption is applicable whether or not the property is furnished. This exemption would last for up to six months after which a charge of 90% would be levied if it was furnished and 100% if it was unfurnished.
Class D (Dwelling left empty by person who is in detention)
A vacant dwelling owned or leased by a person (a relevant absentee) who is detained in a prison, a hospital, or other place of detention includes properties where the relevant absentee is the only occupier and has been detained by order of a court, or is in custody under military law.
It would also apply where the relevant absentee is remanded in custody, even if not actually held in a prison, but does not include instances where an arrested person has not been remanded by a court.
This exemption would continue until such time as the property became occupied or the relevant absentee was released from prison or remand.
Class E (Dwelling left empty by person who has gone to hospital/care home)
An unoccupied dwelling where the owner or tenant of that property has their sole or main residence in a hospital, or in a residential care home, nursing home or hostel in which they are receiving care or treatment. The unoccupied dwelling must previously have been the sole or main residence of the absent person who must have been a relevant absentee for the whole of the period since last living in the property.
Class F (Dwelling left empty by person who has died)
An unoccupied property is exempt under this class if the person liable to pay the council tax has died and the property has remained unoccupied since the date of death, and a grant of probate or letters of administration has not been made.
The exemption can remain in force for up to six months after the grant of probate or letters of administration. This exemption applies to properties that have become unoccupied as a consequence of the death of the council tax payer and to properties which were already unoccupied, provided that in the case of the unoccupied property the deceased person had a sole liability.
Class G (Occupation prohibited by law)
An unoccupied property is exempt under this class if occupation is prohibited by law, or which is kept unoccupied by reason of action taken under powers conferred by or under any Act of Parliament, with a view to prohibiting its occupation or to acquiring it.
Class H (Dwelling kept empty for future occupation by a minister of religion)
This class covers an unoccupied dwelling, which is held for the purpose of being available for occupation by a minister of any religious denomination as a residence from which to perform the duties of his/her office.
Class I (Dwelling left empty by person who is receiving personal care elsewhere)
An unoccupied dwelling where the owner or tenant of that property has gone to live with someone else in order to receive care, or has entered some other institution not regarded as a hospital or care home. For the purpose of this exemption the relevant absentee must be receiving care due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental health disorder. The unoccupied dwelling must previously have been the sole or main residence of the absent person who must have been a relevant absentee for the whole of the period since last living in the property.
Class J (Dwelling left empty by person who is providing personal care elsewhere)
An unoccupied dwelling where the owner or tenant of that property has gone to live elsewhere in order to provide personal care for someone else. For the purpose of this exemption the care provided must fulfil the same conditions as for exempt Class I, that is that it is needed to be due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental health disorder.
The relevant absentee (the carer in this case) need not be living in the same dwelling as the person who is in need of care. It is essential, however, that the relevant absentee is better able to provide care from their new home than could have been provided from the exempt property.
The unoccupied dwelling must previously have been the sole or main residence of the absent person who must have been a relevant absentee for the whole of the period since last living in the property.
Class K (Dwelling left empty by student or students)
An unoccupied property owned by a student is exempt provided that when it was last occupied it was the sole or main residence of that student, and that no one else, other than students lived there. The student must be the person who apart from this exemption would be the person liable to pay the council tax. The owner would still qualify for this exemption if at the time they initially left the property they were not a student provided that they become a student within six weeks of leaving the property.
Class L (Unoccupied property that has been repossessed by mortgagee)
This class relates to a property, which has been repossessed by a mortgagee, and the mortgagor is not in occupation of the property.
Class Q (Dwelling left empty by person who is a bankrupt)
This class would apply if the person who would be liable to pay the council tax for an unoccupied dwelling is a trustee in bankruptcy. It would apply whether the property was furnished or unfurnished and even if the trustee is jointly liable with any other person.
Class T (Unoccupied annexe to a dwelling)
This class relates to dwellings, which form part of premises, which include another dwelling and where the unoccupied dwelling may not be let separately from that other dwelling without a breach of planning regulations. The exemption may apply whether the unoccupied dwelling is furnished or not. This exemption will often apply to unoccupied dwellings commonly known as 'granny annexes' but it could also apply to other types of dwelling such as agricultural properties.
If you think you may be eligible for one of the above exemptions contact: Revenue Team, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ, call 01306 879293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org