Council tax exemptions

Occupied property exemptions

Some occupied homes or dwellings are exempt from paying council tax. They include properties in which only students or people under 18-years-old live, properties occupied only by diplomats, and properties occupied by some mentally impaired people.

An annex or similar self-contained part of a property that is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative of the residents living in the main part, may be treated as exempt from council tax.

People disregarded from council tax

People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident for council tax purposes:

  • full time students, student nurses, apprentices and youth training trainees may qualify for student disregard for council tax
  • patients resident in hospital
  • people who are being looked after in care homes
  • people who are severely mentally impaired
  • people staying in certain hostels or night shelters
  • 18 and 19-year-olds who are at, or have just left school
  • care workers working for low pay, usually for charities
  • people caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner or child under 18-years-old
  • members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
  • members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
  • people in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of council tax or a fine)

Empty property exemptions

Empty properties are exempt when they are:

  • owned by a body established for charitable purposes only (exempt for up to six months)
  • left empty by someone who has gone into prison
  • left empty by someone receiving personal care in a hospital or a home elsewhere; or someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person
  • left empty by students
  • waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
  • repossessed by the mortgage lender
  • the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
  • empty because their occupation is forbidden by law
  • waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • dwellings or homes annexed to another dwelling that cannot be let separately

Forces barracks and married quarters are also exempt. Their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement.

How to contact us

For further information contact the Revenue Services Office using the address below.

Revenue Services
The Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 5002
Fax: 020 7364 4456

Please quote your 10 digit council tax account reference in your email