Council Discount and Exemptions
Council Tax empty Levy charge and exemptions
Some properties are exempt from Council Tax when they are unoccupied, and some are exempt when occupied. Each class is subject to certain criteria and these notes are intended for guidance only. If you would like full details on any exemption, please contact the Revenues section of Braintree District Council on 01376 557755
- Payment of your Council Tax must continue whilst you are awaiting a decision regarding any discount, exemption, benefit claim or appeal.
- If your claim is successful we will write to you and send you a revised bill taking into account payments already made. If you overpay you will be entitled to a refund.
- Failure to pay existing instalments could result in recovery action being taken.
Types of exemptions
An unoccupied property owned by an organisation with charitable objectives. It is exempt for six months after becoming unoccupied. If it's still unoccupied after 6 months a 100% charge applies.
Class C now called Discount Class C (empty properties)
This class was abolished from 1st April 2013 and replaced with Discount Class C.
From this date there will be no exemption available. Properties becoming empty will be charged 100% Council Tax from the day they become empty.
From 1st April 2016, Braintree Council charged 50% Council Tax levy on all domestic properties that have been empty for more than 2 years making the total Council Tax charged 150%.
Braintree District Council has resolved that from 1st April 2019 the Empty Homes Premium will be increased to 100%, in addition to the full 100% charge, for all premises which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished (empty) for period of two years or more on or after 1st April 2016.
Empty properties from 1st April 2020 and empty for over 2 years but less than 5 years the premium will be 100% (200% charged)
For properties empty more than 5 years the premium will be 200% (300% charged)
Empty properties from 1st April 2021 and empty for over 10 years the premium will be 300% (400% charged)
The decision was made to introduce this latest change in levy was made on 25th February 2019.
For further information, please contact the Revenues section on 01376 557755 or [email protected]
A property that is unoccupied because the owner (who was previously the occupier) is now being detained elsewhere (i.e. prison, mental care home).
A property which is unoccupied because the owner (who was previously the occupier) has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home and will not return home.
A property which is unoccupied because the owner has died. This exemption is open-ended until probate is granted (if applicable). The executors or personal representatives will then be allowed a further six months of exemption from the date of probate, providing the property is not occupied or ownership changed in the interim. After that time, a 100% charge will apply.
A property which is unoccupied because the law prohibits occupation e.g. due to a closing order.
A property left empty and waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion.
A property which is unoccupied because the owner is receiving care elsewhere due to old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental disorder.
A property that is unoccupied because the owner has moved to provide personal care for the reason given in Class I.
A property that is unoccupied because the owner is a student but lives away from home whilst studying.
A property which has been repossessed by a mortgagee.
A hall of residence provided predominantly for students which is owned or managed by an educational establishment.
A property occupied only by individuals who are students or Project 2000 student nurses.
Armed Forces barracks, messes and married quarters. Contributions for these properties are paid by the MOD. Forces personnel with a second home are entitled to 50% reduction on that property.
A property occupied by a member and/or their dependents of a relevant visiting force.
A property left empty and is the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee.
A pitch for a caravan or mooring for a boat which is not currently occupied by a caravan or boat.
A property occupied only by people who are under 18.
An unoccupied property that comes within the curtilage (the enclosed area immediately surrounding a house or dwelling) of another occupied property and one which can not be let/sold as a separate entity under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
A property occupied only by people who are severely mentally impaired (except in cases where a non-resident owner is the liable person).
A property occupied only by people for whom diplomatic privileges and immunities apply.
A property which is an annex or similar self contained part of a property which is occupied by an elderly or disabled relative of the residents living in the rest of the property. This is not regarded as a separate property for the purposes of Council Tax