Empty properties following the death of a resident

Dealing with administration following the death of a person can be difficult. 

When the liable person of a property passes away and the Executors of the Estate become responsible for the empty property, it may be exempt from Council Tax. This exemption can last until 6 months after probate has been granted or letters of administration have been made. Once the 6-month limit has expired, the full charge will be due.

Please note:

  • If a property owned by the deceased is occupied by a tenant or other resident on the date of death, then that property will not be eligible for exemption once the residents move out of the property.
  • If somebody moves into the property or the property is sold or ownership is transferred, the exemption will end and the resident/owner will become liable for the Council Tax.
  • In the situation where the property was jointly owned, the Council Tax liability will pass to the surviving owner and a full charge will be due from the date of death.
  • Please note that a period of occupation of less than 6 weeks will not cause the exemption to end.

Please use the government Tell Us Once service to report the death. 

Tell Us Once will notify:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to cancel benefits and credits, for example Child Benefit and tax credits (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits and entitlements, for example Universal Credit or State Pension
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a licence, remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles and end the vehicle tax (you must contact DVLA separately if you either sell the vehicle or keep it and tax it in your own name)
  • the local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support), a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
  • Veterans UK - to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments

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