Council tax exemptions


Some properties are exempt from council tax.  This means that no council tax is payable whilst certain conditions are met.

Occupied properties

The exemptions below are for occupied properties, and they last for as long as the property meets the description -

  • property where all the residents are full-time students and halls of residence for students, occupiers need to be one of the following, certain conditions apply
  • property where all the residents are severely mentally impaired

Occupiers who would be liable for council tax would need to be certified by a doctor to be suffering from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning, which appears to be permanent. You also need to be entitled to at least one of a number of benefits.

  • an annex which is part of another domestic property, and the person living in it is a dependent relative of a person living in the main property
  • property where all the residents are diplomats, UK armed forces accommodation and visiting forces accommodation

Unoccupied properties

Unless stated, you do not have to pay council tax for as long as each situation lasts.  If an exemption has a specific time period, unfortunately if the property is still empty at the end of this period, a full council tax charge would be due.

  • unoccupied property owned, and last occupied, by a registered charity. This applies for a maximum period of six months
  • property unoccupied because the person who would normally have to pay the council tax is in prison (except for non payment of council tax)
  • property unoccupied because the person who would normally have to pay the council tax is staying permanently in a care home, hostel or hospital
  • property unoccupied because the person who would normally have to pay the council tax has died, and neither probate nor letters of administration have yet been granted. This applies until probate or letters of administration have been granted and for six months afterwards (unless someone else becomes the owner)
  • property unoccupied because the law says nobody is allowed to live in it
  • property kept vacant for a religious minister to move into
  • property unoccupied because the person who would normally have to pay the council tax is living at another address where they are being cared for
  • property unoccupied because the person who would normally have to pay the council tax is living at another address where they are caring for someone who is elderly, ill or disabled
  • property unoccupied because the person who last lived there, and who would normally have to pay council tax, is now a student living somewhere else
  • property unoccupied because the mortgage lender has repossessed it
  • property unoccupied because it is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
  • an empty caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • unoccupied domestic property which is part of another domestic property and cannot be rented out separately (for example, unoccupied annexes)

If you are a student, you can download and complete our student accommodation exemption claim form below.

Uninhabitable properties

Unoccupied properties needing major work no longer receive an exemption and the full council tax charge is payable. In some cases if a property is in severe disrepair or derelict you can appeal to the Valuation Office to have the property deleted from the council tax lists. Any outstanding council tax would remain payable whilst the appeal is underway.

Properties empty for over two years

When a property has been empty for over two years a ‘long term empty premium’ can be applied. Hull City Council has decided to set a premium of 50 per cent, so the rate of council tax payable is 150 per cent for properties empty for over two years. 

This decision is in line with the council's policy on long term empty properties. The strategy is designed to return to use properties which have been empty for long periods and which can contribute to the decline of areas of the city.