Occupied property exemptions

Circumstances where a property or resident may qualify for an exemption.

In certain circumstances, some occupied properties are exempt from the Council Tax charge including those properties lived in solely by full-time students, people under the age of 18 years or people who are severely mentally impaired.

Some Council Tax exemptions can only be applied for a limited period of time whereas others are unlimited providing the conditions of the exemption are met.

You can find more information about these Council Tax exemptions and how to make an application in the sections below.

Annexes - Class W

Occupied annexes are exempt from the Council Tax charge if they are occupied as the sole or main home of a dependent relative of a person living in the main dwelling.

For the purposes of Council Tax an annexe is defined as a dwelling which forms part of a single property which includes another dwelling and which may not be let separately from that other dwelling without a breach of planning controls.

A relative is to be regarded as dependent if they are:

  • aged 65 years or more; or
  • under 65 but severely mentally impaired; or
  • under 65 but substantially and permanently disabled.

For the purposes of the exemption, the following are regarded as relatives:

  • spouse;
  • parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, great-uncle, great-aunt, great-nephew or great-niece;

How to apply

If you are occupying an annexe and are a dependent relative of a person living in the main dwelling, please complete our online application form. We will be in touch if we need any further information.

Apply for an annexe exemption

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Full-time students - Class N

Properties that are occupied solely by full-time students are exempt from Council Tax. For the purposes of this Council Tax exemption, the following people are treated as full-time students:

  • a person aged 18 years or over but Child Benefit entitlement continues
  • a person aged 18 or 19 undertaking a qualifying course of education
  • school or college leavers aged 18 or 19
  • foreign Language Assistants
  • a foreign student's spouse or dependents with no recourse to public funds

Eligibility

Full-time Students
For the purposes of Council Tax, a person is a full-time student if they are undertaking a full-time course at a prescribed educational establishment. The course must be at least one academic year or one calendar year in duration. The associated periods of tuition, study or work experience must total at least 24 weeks in each academic year which taken together amount to an average of at least 21 hours.

A foreign student's spouse or dependents who are prevented from working or claiming benefit may also be disregarded for discount or exemption purposes. Alongside the student's certificate from their educational establishment, you will also need to provide the spouse's visa.

Foreign Language Assistants
Foreign Language Assistants can be treated the same as full-time students for the purposes of Council Tax if they employed as a Foreign Language Assistant by a school or other educational establishment within the UK and are enrolled with the British Council.

How to apply

If you are undertaking a course that meets the criteria above, you may be eligible for a Council Tax exemption. You can complete our online application form and will need to attach a certificate from your educational establishment. The student certificate must include the student's full name, date of birth along with the mode of study and duration of the course.

Apply for a full time student exemption

If you are a Foreign Language Assistant and meet the criteria above, please email us at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk with your name and address. Please also provide confirmation that you are registered with the British Council and a letter form the school confirming your employment.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

School and college students - Class N

Properties that are occupied solely by full-time students are exempt from Council Tax. For the purposes of this Council Tax exemption, the following people are treated as full-time students:

  • a person aged 18 years or over but Child Benefit entitlement continues
  • a person aged 18 or 19 undertaking a qualifying course of education
  • school or college leavers aged 18 or 19
  • foreign Language Assistants
  • a foreign student's spouse or dependents with no recourse to public funds

18 or 19 year old - Child Benefit/Qualifying Course/School or College Leavers
Where an occupier is aged 18 years or over but Child Benefit entitlement continues

A person aged 18 or 19 undertaking a qualifying course of education that exceeds 12 hours per week can be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax from their 18th birthday and for the duration of their studies. If they leave school or college between 1st May and 31st October, the disregard discount can be extended until 31st October of that year.

How to apply

If you are undertaking a course that meets the criteria above, you may be eligible for a Council Tax exemption. You can complete our online application form and will need to attach a certificate from your educational establishment. The student certificate must include the student's full name, date of birth along with the mode of study and duration of the course.

Apply for a full time student exemption

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Severely mentally impaired - Class U

Eligibility

A property is exempt from the Council Tax charge if it is occupied solely by people who are severely mentally impaired. The exemption only applies if the person who would otherwise be liable for the Council Tax charge is severely mentally impaired.

A person who is severely mentally impaired and in receipt a relevant benefit can be disregarded for the purposes of Council Tax. A person is severely mentally impaired if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent.

You must be in receipt of one of the state benefits listed below:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • The Care Component of a Disability Living Allowance payable at the middle or highest rate
  • Increase in the rate of Disablement Pension
  • Disability Working Allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement
  • Income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium
  • Personal Independence Payment at the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component
  • Universal Credit which includes an amount payable because the person in question has limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work-related activity
  • Constant Attendance under and/or Unemployability Allowance under:
    -Article 14 of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983; or
    -Article 14 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983.

The exemption can be applied from the time when there is a both a diagnosis and entitlement of a relevant benefit in place simultaneously. We would always backdate if you can provide proof of the date of award.

How to apply

To apply for this discount, please complete our online application form

Apply for a severely mentally impaired exemption

You will need to provide a letter from a GP in support of your application which confirms the date of the diagnosis. This can be sent by email to revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk or by post to the Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Persons in detention - Class D

Eligibility

A property is exempt form the Council Tax charge if the person who would otherwise be liable for the charge is:

  • detained in a prison, a hospital or any other place under a court order;
  • or detained under immigration controls;
  • or detained under the mental health acts;
  • or a member of the armed forces detained in accordance with armed forces legislation. Incapacity Benefit

If a person is detained for non-payment of Council Tax or non-payment of a fine related to Council Tax, the exemption is not applicable.

How to apply

To apply for this exemption because the person who would normally be liable for the Council Tax charge has been detained in prison, please complete our online application form. We will be in touch if we need any further information.

Apply for person in detention exemption

If a person is being detained under any of the other circumstances listed above, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances and we will be in touch with further advice.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Members of visiting forces - Class P

Eligibility

If the person associated with a visiting force would otherwise be liable to pay the Council Tax, the property is exempt, even though other people may also live there.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are associated with a body, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country, to which the Act applies.

The association is defined within the Visiting Forces Act 1952,

A person has a relevant association with a visiting force if he or she is:

  • a member of that force, or a member of a civilian component of the force or
  • a dependant of a member, provided that the dependant is not a British citizen or is not ordinarily resident in the UK.

A disregard discount applies where the person associated with the visiting force is not a liable person for Council Tax (for example, where a member of a visiting force is lodging in a property).

How to apply

If you think your household falls into this category, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances . You will need to provide a copy of your orders and a letter from your commanding officer confirming the duration of your posting.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Diplomats - Class V

Eligibility

If the person associated with a visiting force would otherwise be liable to pay the Council Tax, the property is exempt, even though other people may also live there.

A person is disregarded for Council Tax purposes if they are associated with a body, contingent or detachment of the forces of a country, to which the Act applies.

The association is defined within the Visiting Forces Act 1952,

A person has a relevant association with a visiting force if he or she is:

  • a member of that force, or a member of a civilian component of the force or
  • a dependant of a member, provided that the dependant is not a British citizen or is not ordinarily resident in the UK.

A disregard discount applies where the person associated with the visiting force is not a liable person for Council Tax (for example, where a member of a visiting force is lodging in a property).

How to apply

If you think your household falls into this category, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk setting out your circumstances . You will need to provide a copy of your orders and a letter from your commanding officer confirming the duration of your posting.

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Care leavers

From the 01 April 2020 Uttlesford District Council introduced a Council Tax discount for care leavers aged up to 21 who live within the district. This discount applies to care leavers who either live alone, live with other care leavers or if they have joined an existing household.

A household occupied only by care leavers will be given sufficient discretionary relief to ensure that they pay no Council Tax.

If the care leaver has joined another household, we will reduce their Council Tax so that the liability of the household is the same as it would have been before the care leaver moved in. We will award enough discretionary relief to ensure that the Council Tax liability does not increase as a result of them moving in.

Eligibility

For the purpose of this discount a care leaver is defined as a person aged up to 21 years who has

  • (a) been looked after by Essex County Council for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date;
  • or is entitled to leaving care support from Essex County Council.

Care leavers and those in their household are required to take steps to reduce their Council Tax bill by making a claim for any applicable discounts or exemptions and Council Tax Reduction (CTR) before the care leavers discount amount can be calculated. For example, if they live alone and have a low income or are claiming a state benefit, they must first claim a 25% sole occupancy discount and apply for CTR.

How to apply

If you are an eligible care leaver or a care leaver has joined your household, please complete our online application form and we will be in touch if we need any further information.

Apply online for a care leavers exemption

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.

Halls of residence - Class M

Eligibility

Halls of residence for students are exempt from Council Tax as long as the accommodation is owned or managed by an educational establishment, such as a college or university).

The accommodation must be provided predominantly for students and this does not prevent part of the accommodation being occupied permanently or temporarily, for staff or other people.

How to apply

If you have a halls of residence that meets the criteria above, please email the Council Tax team at revenues@uttlesford.gov.uk with your name, address and phone number. Please also provide the address of the halls of residence and we will be in touch about your application.

 

Penalty

If your Council Tax bill indicates that a discount has been granted and you think it is incorrect, you must contact the Council Tax team at Uttlesford District Council within 21 days of when the bill was issued to tell them. You must also tell us about any change of circumstances that may affect your eligibility to claim the discount within 21 days of the change. If you fail to do so, you may be issued with a penalty of £70.