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Council Tax exemptions

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If a property qualifies for an exemption then Council Tax will not need to be paid for a certain amount of time.

Each type of exemption has different requirements, read below to find out more about each one.

Apply for an exemption

To make your application complete apply for a Council Tax exemption .

You must tell us straight away if your circumstances change, as it will affect your Council Tax bill.

Types of exemptions

Properties left unoccupied when a person dies – 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 date of probate will be required).

Occupant in care home or hospital – an unoccupied property which was last occupied as the sole or main residence of a person  or persons now permanently in a hospital or care home and no-one else lives in the property.

Occupied: properties occupied entirely by students – the property will be exempt if it is lived in by one or more students, either as full-time or term-time accommodation.

If all the residents are severely mentally impaired you can claim a full exemption.

Severely mentally impaired is defined as someone who has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. This can include people who are severely mentally impaired as a result of:

  • Degenerative brain disorder for example Alzheimer’s disease
  • A stroke
  • Other forms of dementia
  • Learning disability
  • Severe or chronic mental illness

We can disregard the SMI person for Council Tax, giving 25% off the Council Tax bill if they live with someone not disregarded.

If the SMI person lives alone or if all the residents are considered SMI a full exemption can be applied, meaning there would be nothing to pay on your bill.

The award is for life and moves with the individual.

It is reliant on claiming one of these benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Higher rate or middle rate care component of a Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal independence payment (PIP) daily living component (either rate)
  • Increased rate of Disablement Pension where constant attendance is needed
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Disability Premium included with Income Support
  • Disability Premium included with Jobseekers Allowance where partner is claiming
  • Universal Credit that includes an element for limited capability for work

In addition to the above a doctor’s certification of permanent condition is required.

Discount could be backdated up to maximum 6 years if evidence can be provided, such as doctors certification and receipt of benefits.

Apply for discount or exemption .

Properties left unoccupied due to repossession – an unoccupied property which has been repossessed.

Last occupant bankrupt – an unoccupied property held by a trustee in bankruptcy.

Properties left unoccupied by people receiving care – 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. Confirmation by a GP will be required.

Occupation is prohibited by law – an empty property whose occupation is prohibited by law. This may include properties  where a planning restriction on occupation applies.

Owned by a charity – an unoccupied property, owned by a body established for charitable purposes, for a maximum period of six months from the last occupation. Provided that the property was  being used for the purposes of the charity up to that date.

Occupied: all under 18 – a dwelling where all the residents are under age 18.

Occupied: Annexe

Occupied: Annexe – an exempt dwelling if it forms part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and is the sole or main residence of a dependent relative of the occupier of the dwelling (or one of those other dwellings).

This class W exemption remains valid, but from 1 April 2014 if the annexe occupier is a relative of the main dwelling occupier, but is not their dependent relative, the annexe occupier may be entitled to a 50% discount on their council tax.

Occupied: Halls of residence

Occupied: Halls of residence – the property will be exempt if it is lived in mainly by students and owned or managed by an educational establishment.

Structural work

Structural work – from 1 April 2016 North East Lincolnshire Council will no longer award an exemption in these cases

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties – from 1 April 2016 North East Lincolnshire Council will no longer award an exemption in these cases.

Occupant in prison

Occupant in prison – such properties will be exempt if the person who would be responsible for the bill is in prison/detention and no-one else lives in the property.

Unoccupied properties which will next be used by ministers of religion

Unoccupied properties which will next be used by ministers of religion – an unoccupied dwelling, such as a vicarage, is exempt indefinitely if it is held to be available for occupation by a minister of any religious denomination and from where they will perform the duties of their office.

Properties left unoccupied by a person who is a student

Properties left unoccupied by a person who is a student – an unoccupied property which was last occupied as the sole or main residence of the liable person(s), where the liable person(s) have been a student since the date they ceased occupation, or become a student within six weeks of that date.

Occupied/unoccupied: Armed forces

Occupied/unoccupied: Armed Forces – Armed forces accommodation owned by the Secretary of State for defence.

Occupied: Visiting forces

Occupied: visiting forces – a property occupied by a person associated with visiting forces.

Caravan pitch or mooring

Caravan pitch or mooring – a pitch or mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or boat.

Unoccupied: Annexe

Unoccupied: Annexe – the dwelling forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling, and cannot be let separately without a breach of planning control. This could apply to empty granny flats.

Unoccupied by diplomat

Unoccupied by diplomat – the main residence of a person with diplomatic privileges or immunity.


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Contact details

Council Tax, Local Taxation and Benefits, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU

Email: counciltax@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 3030164 option 5

Telephone opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays