Occupied Property Exemptions

Some properties may be exempt from Council Tax even though they are furnished and occupied.

Halls of residence provided predominantly for the accommodation of students are exempt.

The accommodation must be owned or managed by a prescribed educational establishment, or by a body established for charitable purposes only, or is subject to an agreement enabling such an establishment to nominate the majority of student residents.

Any dwelling which is occupied only by students, school or college leavers or by certain spouses or dependants of students.

The exemption also applies if the qualifying occupiers only occupy the property as their term time address.

Living accommodation for UK armed forces owned by the Secretary of State for Defence is exempt whether occupied or not.

This includes barracks and other accommodation on military bases, together with married quarters and any other dwellings, wherever located, provided the accommodation is held for the purposes of forces accommodation.

Any person who would otherwise have been liable has a relevant association with a visiting force from a country to which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies.

Properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18 years are exempt from Council Tax until such time as either one of the residents reaches the age of 18 or a new occupier aged 18 or more moves into the property (subject to any discount entitlement).

A dwelling is exempt if it is occupied only

  • by one or more severely mentally impaired persons, where but for this exemption either they or a ‘relevant person’ would be liable to pay the council tax; or
  • by one or more severely mentally impaired persons, together with one or more ‘relevant persons’

A ‘relevant person’ for this exemption is defined as anyone who would qualify for the exemption as a student in exempt Class N.

This prevents the anomaly that if a student moved into the dwelling of a severely mentally impaired person they would lose an exemption, but if either of these persons occupied the property on their own they would be exempt.

A dwelling is exempt under this class if it is the main residence in the United Kingdom of at least one person on whom privileges and immunities are conferred by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, the Commonwealth Secretarial Act 1966, the Consular Relations Act 1968 or the Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1985.

The person must not be a British subject, a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen, a British National (Overseas) or a British Overseas citizen, a British protected person or a permanent resident in the United Kingdom, and must be a person who would have been liable for council tax were it not for this exemption.

If there is a resident in the property with a superior interest in the property to that of the qualifying person, according to the hierarchy of liability, then this exemption will not apply.

Reference should then be made to the disregard for persons with diplomatic privilege or immunity.

A dwelling is exempt if it forms part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and is the sole or main residence of a dependant relative of a person who is resident in that other dwelling (or one of those other dwellings).

A dependent relative for this purpose is:

  • a person aged 65 years or more
  • a person who is severely mentally impaired
  • a person who is substantially and permanently disabled (whether by illness, injury, congenital deformity or otherwise).

A ‘relative’ is defined as a person who is a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or the parent or child of such a person.

The legislation also allows a relationship by marriage to be treated as a relationship by blood and a relationship between a man and a woman living together as husband and wife to be treated as a relationship by marriage.

If you think you may be eligible for one of the above exemptions, email council.tax@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 879293