Empty Property Exemptions

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.

An unoccupied dwelling which is owned by a charity.

As this exemption applies to unoccupied properties, it means that the exemption is valid whether or not the property is furnished.

A vacant dwelling owned or leased by a person 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 also applies when the relevant absentee is remanded in custody,  but does not include instances where an arrested person has not been remanded by a court.

This exemption would continue until the property became occupied or the relevant absentee was released.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 no one 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.

This class relates to a property, which has been repossessed by a mortgagee, and the mortgagor is not in occupation of the property.

Applies 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.

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.

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, email council.tax@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 879293.