Apply for an exemption

If a property is classified as exempt, it means there is no Council Tax to pay on it. A property can be exempt for a fixed period or it can be exempt indefinitely.

The length of time a property is exempt depends on the reason for the exemption. Exemptions are available for both occupied and unoccupied properties.

Exemptions for students Toggle accordion

Property occupied only by students

If a property is occupied only by qualifying students, then an exemption from Council Tax is applicable.

If any of the qualifying students have their non-British spouse or dependants living with them, an exemption may still apply.

Council Tax exemption for students (PDF, 143 KB)

Halls of residence

Halls of residence for students are exempt from Council Tax provided the accommodation is:

  • Owned or managed by a prescribed educational establishment 
  • Owned or managed by a body established for charitable purposes only 
  • Subject to an agreement in which an educational establishment has nominated the majority of residents as students

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham does not have any qualifying establishments.

Unoccupied property where the qualifying student owner has moved out to study

An unoccupied property where the qualifying student owner has moved out to study is exempt from Council Tax if it is unoccupied and meets every one of these criteria:

  • The property is owned by a qualifying student
  • The property was the main or sole residence of the owner, until it became unoccupied
  • Nobody lived in the property prior to it becoming unoccupied, except for qualifying students

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied student owner (PDF, 191 KB)

Properties left vacant by a death Toggle accordion

An unoccupied property may be exempt if the person who was liable for Council Tax has died and the property has remained unoccupied since the date of death.

The property does not need to be unfurnished.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied awaiting probate (PDF, 226 KB)

People receiving or providing care Toggle accordion

Patients resident in hospital or care homes

If a person who previously lived in a property as their main residence as its only occupier is now resident in hospital or a care home, a Council Tax exemption may be applicable.

Council Tax exemption - patients in hospital or care home (PDF, 185 KB)

Person receiving personal care elsewhere

An exemption may also be applicable if a property is unoccupied because the liable person has moved out to receive care due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or a past or present mental disorder.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied receiving personal care (PDF, 231 KB)

Person has moved to another residence to provide care for another person

An exemption may be made if a property is unoccupied because the liable person has moved to another residence to provide care for another person due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or a past or present mental disorder.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied to provide care (PDF, 189 KB)

Property left unoccupied by someone in prison or hospital Toggle accordion

If a person who normally lives in a property as their main residence and was its only occupier is absent from the property because they have been detained in prison or in hospital, then an exemption may be applicable.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied in detention (PDF, 188 KB)

Properties with an annexe Toggle accordion

Unoccupied annexe

A Council Tax exemption may apply to a dwelling that is an annexe to, or within the grounds of, the main dwelling.

The annexe must be unoccupied and may not be let separately from the main property without contravening planning consent. You can use our unoccupied annexe exemption application form.

Council Tax exemption – unoccupied annexe (PDF, 221 KB)

Occupied annexe

Where a home is part of a single property, comprising of two or more homes (for example, a ‘granny annexe’) and it is occupied by a dependent relative of the resident of the other home, then it is exempt from Council Tax. You can use our occupied annexe exemption application form.

Council Tax exemption – occupied annexe (PDF, 229 KB)

Other occupied property exemptions Toggle accordion

Properties may be entitled to exemption from Council Tax even if they are occupied. Other occupied property Council Tax exemptions are:

Property occupied by armed forces personnel

A property which is occupied by armed forces personnel may be exempt from Council Tax.

Council Tax exemption - armed forces personnel (PDF, 140 KB)

Property occupied by visiting forces personnel

A property which is occupied by visiting forces personnel or their dependants may be exempt from Council Tax.

Council Tax exemption - visiting forces personnel or dependants (PDF, 140 KB)

Property occupied only by under-18s

If you are the only person living at your address and you are under 18 years of age, you may not have to pay Council Tax.

This exemption will also be granted if more than one person lives in the property but everyone living in the property is aged under 18.

Council Tax exemption - under 18 years old (PDF, 185.90 KB)

Property occupied by someone who is severely mentally impaired

A property is exempt from Council Tax if all the adult residents are severely mentally impaired.

Council Tax exemption - severely mentally impaired (DOC, 113 KB)

Property occupied by diplomats

A person is disregarded for Council Tax if he or she is a diplomat and/or benefits from diplomatic immunity.

If the person with diplomatic immunity is legally liable for Council Tax, and nobody else in the property has equal or greater interest in that property, then an exemption is applicable.

Council Tax exemption - diplomats (PDF, 141 KB)

Other unoccupied property exemptions Toggle accordion

A property that is left unoccupied might be exempt from Council Tax.

Property left unoccupied by a charity

If you are a registered charity and the property you own is unoccupied, you may not have to pay Council Tax.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied by a charity (PDF, 89.84 KB)

Property where occupation is forbidden by law

If a property cannot be occupied because the law prevents it, an exemption may be applicable.

Council Tax exemption - occupation forbidden by law (PDF, 139.53 KB)

Unoccupied minister’s residence

Properties that are unoccupied and being kept available for a minister of religion as a residence from which they will perform the duties of their office are exempt from Council Tax.

Council Tax exemption - unoccupied minister’s residence (PDF, 231.36 KB)

Repossessed property

If the property you own has been repossessed and you no longer live there, you do not have to pay Council Tax.

Council Tax exemption – repossessed property (PDF, 229.75 KB)

Trustee in bankruptcy

We will grant exemption for Council Tax purposes providing both of these circumstances apply to a property:

  1. The property is unoccupied
  2. The person who would be liable for Council Tax is acting as a trustee in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act 1914 or the Insolvency Act 1986

An exemption can be granted whether the property is furnished or not.

Council Tax exemption – trustee in bankruptcy (PDF, 179.78 KB)

An unoccupied pitch or mooring

If you own a mooring for a boat or a pitch for a caravan and it is currently vacant, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax.

From the day the mooring or pitch becomes vacant, a full exemption can be granted.

Council Tax exemption – unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring (PDF, 179.86 KB)

Fair processing Toggle accordion

Fair processing

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council collects, uses and stores your personal data to undertake our functions as a local authority and deliver services to you. The information we collect may be used to better understand your use of our services and assist us in improving our services. This is to ensure we are using public funds in the best way possible.

We may also share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds and law enforcement agencies to prevent or detect fraud or crime. It is our responsibility to ensure that your information is kept safe and processed under the relevant data protection legislation.

We are making changes to our processes to make sure that we meet the requirements of the new Data Protection Bill, which will transfer the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation into UK law.

The new law will strengthen the rights of individuals. To make sure that we continue to handle your personal information in a fair and transparent way, we will be rewriting our current privacy notice which will be available to view by 25 May 2018.

A privacy notice can change from time to time and we recommend that you always check the latest notice before you submit any personal information to us, to make sure that you understand how we manage your information.

It’s not just councils that need to make changes. Every organisation that processes the personal information of EU citizens must comply with the new European Union data protection law. If you have concerns or are interested in knowing more, the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) is the regulator in the UK and will be able to help you.

Housing and Council Tax Support for armed forces personnel Toggle accordion

Armed forces personnel and their families

Council Tax Support is available for people who are (or have been) in the armed forces or are related to (or live with) someone in the armed forces.

Council Tax discount

When a member of the armed forces is required to live in army accommodation away from their home in Barking and Dagenham, and that home is left empty, they are entitled by law to a 50% second home discount.

While second homes generally receive a 10% discount for one month, these regulations preserve the 50% discount on a second home where due to a person’s job they have a job-related dwelling and another home. Where the other dwelling is in Barking and Dagenham and is unoccupied, they will be entitled to a discount of 50%.

Council Tax Reduction

Armed forces personnel are entitled to Council Tax Reduction (CTR) in certain circumstances when on specified operations. You can find details on Council Tax Reduction for armed forces personnel on the Citizens Advice website. Council Tax Reduction is paid by the armed forces, not by the council.

When a member of the armed forces is away from their home on specified operations, Council Tax remains payable.

Spare room subsidy (bedroom tax)

Families with children in the armed forces are exempt from the spare room subsidy (bedroom tax).

Benefit disregard

According to government rules in calculating Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support, a higher earning disregard applies to earnings for armed forces personnel. This amount is £20 per week.

Benefit and pension rates 2017-18 (PDF, 255.55 KB)

For the purposes of calculating income for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support, the following are disregarded in full: War Widow(er) Pension, War Disablement Pension and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are disregarded in full.

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