New rules on council tax exemption

The government has responded to the consultation on proposals to exempt certain categories of dwellings from council tax premiums in England. Here’s a summary of the key points and exceptions:

Exceptions to both the empty and second homes council tax premiums:

  1. Properties undergoing probate: Inherited properties will have a 12-month exception from both premiums after probate or letters of administration have been granted.
  2. Properties being actively marketed: Properties that are actively marketed for sale or let will have a 12-month exception from both premiums.

Exceptions to the empty homes premium only:

  1. Empty properties undergoing major repairs: Properties undergoing major repairs or structural alterations will have a 12-month exception from the empty homes premium.

Exceptions to the second homes premium only:

  1. Annexes forming part of the main dwelling: Annexes that form part of a single property including at least one other dwelling will be exempt from the second homes premium, provided they are used as part of the main residence.
  2. Job-related dwellings: Job-related dwellings will be exempt from the second homes premium, except in cases where individuals choose to have an additional property for work purposes while maintaining a family home elsewhere.
  3. Occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings: Caravan pitches and boat moorings that are occupied will be exempt from the second homes premium.
  4. Seasonal homes with occupancy restrictions: Properties with planning restrictions or other conditions that prevent year-round occupation will be exempt from the second homes premium.

The government emphasizes that councils have the discretion to offer additional exceptions or discounts based on individual circumstances. Additionally, the intention behind the premiums is not to penalize owners of properties genuinely on the housing market for sale or rent. The premiums are intended to address the impacts of second and empty homes, rather than penalize certain types of properties, such as retirement properties or those used for specific purposes like temporary accommodation. However, councils are encouraged to consider the appropriateness of subjecting such properties to premiums based on their circumstances.

The full response can be seen here.

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