Council tax exemptions
Properties can be exempt from Council Tax when they are unoccupied or empty under certain circumstances. Many such exemptions will continue for as long as the circumstances remain the same, but some exemptions can apply for a limited time period only, after which a charge can apply.
Exemptions that have operated for many years for unoccupied unfurnished properties and those unoccupied properties undergoing major repair works will not be available for any period after 1 April 2013. Instead Councils can set a level of discount (from 100% to nil) which they feel is appropriate to charge.
How to tell us your property is exempt
- Follow the links under 'Further information' below to the description of the exemption that applies to you - they are divided into exemptions for empty properties and those that are occupied;
- Download and print the relevant form;
- Complete the form, sign and date it;
- Return it to Revenues Services at the address at the foot of this page (also included on the form).
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Empty properties that are exempt:
- Uninhabitable, undergoing major repair or newly repaired properties (maximum 12 months exemption) - this exemption will cease from 1 April 2013
- Owned by a charity (maximum 6 months)
- Empty and unfurnished (maximum 6 months) - this exemption will cease from 1 April 2013
- Left empty by someone who is now in prison
- Left empty by someone in hospital / care home
- Left empty because somebody has died
- Property is unfit to live in, or prohibited by law, or occupancy is prevented under planning conditions
- Properties to be used by a minister of religion
- Left empty by someone receiving personal care elsewhere
- Left empty by someone providing personal care elsewhere
- Left empty by student(s) who live elsewhere to study
- Repossessed by building society or mortgage lender
- Properties which are part of a bigger building but which cannot be sold or let because of planning rules (e.g. unoccupied granny flats)
- Empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
Occupied properties that are exempt:
- Halls of residence and properties only occupied by students
- Occupied by the Armed Forces (e.g. barracks, mess quarters etc.)
- Occupied by visiting armed forces
- Lived in only by people under the age of 18
- Properties occupied entirely by students
- Lived in only by people who are severely mentally impaired
- Properties lived in by a diplomat
- Annexe (or similar contained property) occupied by a dependent relative of the residents of the main property
CLASS A: Unoccupied & unfurnished properties
Unoccupied and unfurnished properties which need major repairs or are being structurally altered (classed as uninhabitable). The exemption can continue for up to 12 months. This exemption will not be available for any period after 1 April 2013, from which point a discount of 50% will be available instead.
CLASS B: Empty properties owned by charities
The property will be exempt for up to 6 months, provided that when last in use it was occupied in furtherance of the charities purposes/objects.
These properties can be exempt for up to six months from the date it was last lived in and/or the furniture removed, or from the date a new property was treated as complete. This exemption will not be available for any period after 1 April 2013. A 100% discount will then be available for the first 3 months that the property is substantially unfurnished, after 3 months a full Council Tax charge will apply.
Such properties will be exempt if the person who would be responsible for the bill is in prison and no-one else lives in the property.
The property will be exempt if the person who would normally pay the council tax bill is a patient living in a hospital, nursing or care home.
The property will be exempt if an administrator or executor of the person's estate is responsible for the property and no-one else lives in the property. It will be exempt for up to six months after probate has been granted.
The property will be exempt if it is empty because of compulsory purchase (this is where an Act of Parliament gives authorisation to a local authority or the Minister of Transport to take land) or where planning permission prevents occupancy. Nobody must live in the property and no time limit applies.
The property will be exempt if it is next used by a minister of religion who will perform his or her duties from this property. No time limit applies.
The property will be exempt if the person who would normally pay council tax is living somewhere else (other than a hospital or home) to receive care and no-one else lives in the property.
The property will be exempt if the person who would normally pay council tax does not live in the property because he or she provides care somewhere else, and no one else lives in the property.
The property must have been the only or main home of one or more students. One of the students would have had to be responsible for paying the council tax, and have been a student for the whole time since it was his or her home.
The property must not be lived in. The property will be exempt if the mortgagee is in possession under the terms of a mortgage contract (this is where the mortgage payments have not been made, so the property is repossessed by the building society or mortgage lender).
The property will be exempt if it is lived in mainly by students and owned or managed by an educational establishment.
The property will be exempt if it is lived in by one or more students, either as full-time or term-time accommodation.
This could apply to empty granny flats.
Where the resident is a dependent relative of the person(s) living in the other part of the property and is over 65 years old or disabled or severely mentally-impaired.
Download the Class W Exemption form now [PDF, 69k]
|contact officer/team:||Billing Assistant|
|web:||online enquiry form|
|freephone:||0808 178 7141|
|address:||South Norfolk Council
South Norfolk House
Norwich NR15 2XE
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Last updated on: 30 January 2013