Council Tax unoccupied property exemptions
Exemptions are available for empty properties and those which are not occupied. An exemption means that there is no Council Tax to pay.
Details of the exemptions available for empty and unoccupied properties, and how to apply, can be found below:
Left unoccupied by someone who has gone to live in a residential care home
This exemption applies when an owner or tenant has left their property unoccupied, because they have moved to live permanently at a residential care home.
The exemption will end if the property is occupied by another person, but can be re-applied when that person leaves, as long as the owner or tenant is still resident in the care home and it has remained their main place of residence since leaving the property.
Joint ownership or tenancy does not affect the exemption in this case. For example:
- Mrs X and her parent jointly own a property in Doncaster. Mrs X has her main home and lives elsewhere. Her parent lived in the Doncaster property, but goes into residential care. Provided the property in Doncaster remains unoccupied and her parent remains in residential care the exemption would apply. The exemption would end when the parent ceases to be an owner, a tenancy is granted to a 3rd party, or the property becomes occupied.
Examples of where exemption would not apply :
- Mrs X is the sole owner of a property in Doncaster, but it is occupied by her parent who is not a formal tenant. Mrs X has her main home and lives elsewhere. When her parent goes into residential care Mrs X becomes liable for Council Tax. No exemption would apply.
- Mrs X is the sole owner of a property in Doncaster, but it is occupied by her elderly parents Mr and Mrs Z. Mr Z goes into residential care but Mrs Z remains in the property. Mrs Z will become liable as the Council Taxpayer and may be entitled to discounts in her own right, such as a single occupier discount.
- Mrs X is the sole owner of the property, and she rents it to Mr Y (a private tenant holding a formal tenancy agreement). Mr Y goes into residential care before the end of the tenancy. An exemption would apply for the tenancy until the tenancy ends, is ended early, a new tenancy is granted to a 3rd party, or the property becomes occupied.
You can request this exemption by providing details of the taxpayers change in circumstances. Please make it clear that the care home address is provided.
If your exemption is not applied to your bill after reporting the move to a care home, please contact us.
Alternatively, if your circumstances do not fit the scenarios using any of the move forms available on the above link, please contact Council Tax on 01302 734454 or by completing a general enquiry form and choosing Council Tax, report 'something else', then 'submit a general enquiry'.
Left unoccupied by a student
An exemption may apply if a property is left unoccupied by a student. The student must be the owner or tenant of the property. The exemption will end when they liable person ceases to be a student or, if the property becomes occupied by another person.
Please check the full qualifying criteria of a student.
Left unoccupied as someone is in prison
This exemption applies when a property is left unoccupied because the owner or tenant is detained in prison, hospital or another place of detention. If an exemption applies no Council Tax will be charged from the date of detention until the date of release.
An exemption will only apply if the property is still considered to be their home and they would be liable for Council Tax if not for their present circumstances.
This means that if the property is sold or rented to someone else, or is occupied by another person, the exemption would end.
A person will be treated as a person in detention if they are:
- detained in prison or hospital, or held on remand by an order of court, and
- the property remains their main home.
This exemption does not apply to persons released on parole, or persons in prison for not paying their Council Tax or fines.
If another person remains in occupation after a resident has been detained (meeting the above requirements), a discount may still apply. See our discounts for persons in detention page.
Left unoccupied for a minister of religion
An exemption may apply when a property is left unoccupied and is being kept for a Minister of religion.
An unoccupied property owned by a charity
This exemption may apply to a property owned by a charity, which is now unoccupied, but was last occupied in furtherance of the charities aims and objectives.
A charity is a body which is established for charitable purposes only. The body does not have to be a registered charity, but has to prove that it meets these conditions.
The exemption is awarded for a maximum of six months whilst unoccupied and ends on the expiration of six months or when the property is reoccupied, whichever is the earlier.
The property can be unfurnished or furnished during the exemption period.
In order to qualify Charities will need to provide supporting documentation as part of their application, such as a copy of their Governing Document.
Student Halls of Residence
If the property is a student Halls of Residence and you want to apply for this exemption, please submit a general enquiry form.
An unoccupied property, because someone has moved out to receive or provide personal care
An exemption applies when the owner or tenant has left their property unoccupied because they have gone to live with someone else, or at some other institution (which is not a hospital or care home) in order to receive care.
This must be due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol dependence, or a past or present mental disorder.
An exemption also applies when the owner or tenant has left their property unoccupied because they have gone to live with someone else in order to provide care.
You can request this exemption by providing details of the taxpayers change in circumstances. If your exemption is not applied to your bill, please contact us.
If you have already moved, or think you should have an exemption for the above reasons, please contact us.
Depending on the circumstances at the property where care is being received/provided, a discount may also apply at that property too. If you think this might apply, a carer’s discount application should be completed. For full details of the qualifying criteria of a carer please see the application download below.
- Application Form Carers
- Download (464KB)
Left empty because the law prevents anyone from living there
An exemption applies when occupation of a property is prohibited by law.
A Pitch or mooring is not occupied by a caravan or a boat
This exemption applies when a caravan pitch or boat mooring is not occupied by caravan or boat.
If you have moved from your caravan pitch or boat mooring, please tell us.
The property is in possession of a trustee in bankruptcy
This exemption applies when a taxpayer has been declared bankrupt, and their property is in the possession of the trustee in Bankruptcy.
If you own an unoccupied property, and have been declared bankrupt please supply evidence of your bankruptcy and any other relevant information to us at: Council Tax, City of Doncaster Council, Floor 2, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU.
Please remember to put your Council Tax account number on any documents you supply, and whether or not these need to be returned to you.
The property has been repossessed by a mortgage provider
This exemption applies when a property has been formally repossessed by the mortgage provider. If you have had a property repossessed, please supply a copy of your Repossession Order and any other relevant information to us at: Council Tax, City of Doncaster Council, Floor 2, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU.
Please remember to put your Council Tax account number on any documents you supply.
Left empty because the taxpayer has died and grant of probate or letters of administration have not been granted
This exemption applies when the person who was solely liable to pay Council Tax has died.
In order to qualify, the deceased must have been the owner, or leaseholder of the property. The property must also have been unoccupied at the time of, or has become unoccupied as a result of the taxpayers death.
The exemption continues from the date of death until probate or the letters of administration are granted. Once probate or the letters of administration are granted, the exemption continues for a further six months. After which a 100% empty property charge will apply.
The exemption will end sooner if:
- the property becomes occupied
- the property is sold or transferred to another person (e.g. a beneficiary of the will)
- the property is re-let, or the estate of the deceased is no longer liable to pay rent.
If the property is jointly owned, or occupied by other persons, no exemption will apply. Instead, those persons will become liable for Council Tax.
To report a death of a taxpayer, please submit a general enquiry form.
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