Empty properties that are exempt
Some types of unoccupied dwelling have been prescribed as fully exempt from Council Tax and there is no charge payable whilst certain conditions are met.
From 1st April 2013 changes in legislation mean Class A and Class C exemptions no longer apply. Details on the new discount scheme in Chiltern area can be found here.
If a property is unoccupied but remains furnished there is no free period and a 100% charge becomes payable as soon as the property is first left unoccupied. An exemption may apply to unoccupied furnished property if classes B, Q, T and D to L apply.
The different exemptions that apply to empty properties are detailed below:
Class A (no longer valid from 1st April 2013)
Applied to an unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property which required or was undergoing major repair works to render it habitable or was undergoing or had undergone structural alteration. The exemption applied for up to 6 months after the major repairs or structural alterations were complete, but the maximum period of exemption (including the repair period and the period after completion) was 12 months. Any dwelling which has been exempt for a year or more, regardless of whether the repairs or structural alterations have been completed, will cease to be exempt.
Dwellings which have been unoccupied for less than 6 months and are owned by a Charity. This class applies if the dwelling was last used in furtherance of the objectives of the Charity.
Class C (no longer valid from 1st April 2013)
Applied where a property had been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for less than six months.
Applies where the property is unoccupied because the owner or tenant has been detained in prison, hospital or other place of detention and the dwelling was his or her sole or main residence immediately prior to commitment.
Applies where a property is unoccupied because the previous owner or tenant is now permanently resident in hospital, residential care home or hostel receiving care. The dwelling must have been his or her sole or main residence immediately prior to being admitted to the hospital, home or hostel.
Applies following the death of the only resident freeholder/leaseholder/tenant to absolve the Personal Representative of the deceased from a Council Tax liability. May continue for up to six months after the date on which Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration were obtained.
Dwellings where occupation is prohibited by law or which are keep unoccupied by reason of action by or on behalf of the crown or any public or local authority with a view to prohibiting their occupation or to acquiring them.
Dwellings which are held for the purpose of being available for occupation by a Minister of Religion as a residence from which to perform the duties of his office.
Applies where dwellings are unoccupied because the previous resident owner or tenant is now living elsewhere for the purposes of receiving personal care by reason of old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental disorder.
Applies where dwellings are unoccupied because the previous resident owner or tenant is now living elsewhere for the purpose of providing personal care for a person who requires such care by reason of the conditions listed in Class I above.
Applies where a property is unoccupied because the previous resident owner is now a student and has been so since the dwelling ceased to be their residence or became a student within 6 weeks of vacating the property.
Unoccupied dwellings which have been re-possessed by the Mortgagee.
Unoccupied dwellings in respect of which a Trustee in Bankruptcy would otherwise be the Council Taxpayer.
Vacant caravan pitches or vacant moorings for houseboats.
Unoccupied annexes where the letting of the property separately would be in breach of Planning Control under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
For more information, please contact the Revenues Office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01494 732077.