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Council tax on "empty" property?

mrjelly

Registered User
Jul 23, 2012
314
West Sussex
My Dad passed away in October last year and his house has been "empty" since then, in that nobody is using it as their main residence. It is still furnished, with services connected and me or my brothers stay overnight occasionally while we are going through Dad's papers and possessions. We are not able to sell it yet as probate hasn't been granted. We are acting as executors, but I was not sure whether that made us "owners" or "residents" of the property. Can a house be in limbo, without an owner?

One government web site says:

If you’re selling an empty property on behalf of an owner who’s died, you won’t have to pay Council Tax for up to 6 months from the day you get probate (the right to deal with the estate).
That doesn't seem to cover the period before probate though. Does anybody know what level of Council Tax, if any would be applicable during this period?
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
Hi myjelly

There are 6 sites for West Sussex councils, I picked the first "Adur & Worthing" and found this:

Class F
You will be exempt from Council Tax if a property is unoccupied following the death of the owner/tenant, and the executors are awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted.
The exemption ends six months after probate or letters of administration have been granted.

Link below, if you're in one of the other 5 I would suspect it's not much different and it depends on where the house is which I suppose may not be even be in Sussex.
So much of what happens depends on the Local Authority so it helps when people say the LA they're dealing with.
K
http://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-and-exemptions/#exemption-classes
 

mrjelly

Registered User
Jul 23, 2012
314
West Sussex
Hi myjelly

There are 6 sites for West Sussex councils, I picked the first "Adur & Worthing" and found this:

Class F
You will be exempt from Council Tax if a property is unoccupied following the death of the owner/tenant, and the executors are awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted.
The exemption ends six months after probate or letters of administration have been granted.

Link below, if you're in one of the other 5 I would suspect it's not much different and it depends on where the house is which I suppose may not be even be in Sussex.
So much of what happens depends on the Local Authority so it helps when people say the LA they're dealing with.
K
http://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-and-exemptions/#exemption-classes
Thanks Keven, that is interesting. Actually Dad's house is in Essex but I just found some information on a national statutary order which should apply thoughout England. There have been amendments over the years, but I would expect the same rules to apply in Sussex and Essex.

I think I can now go back to the local council and quote class F exemption at them. :)
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
If it's in Essex (again a county not an authority) first one on the list is Colchester, they say:
•are waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (after someone has died)and for up to six months after.

To get the most informed answer on here you (anyone) need to say the LA you're dealing with, the rules are pretty similar but interpretations do vary, there's nothing better that confronting someone with contrary information from their own council's website, the same applies to health authorities, no one wants your postcode and address but it helps to know which specific LA you're talking about.
K

http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/12649/Properties-exempt-from-Council-Tax
 

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,734
South
I think we were lucky to not be charged for the empty property after that 6 month period. Not going to query it!