There are a number of circumstances where a property may be exempt from Council Tax. This means there could be no bill to pay.

The 21 classes of exemption available within Bath & North East Somerset are listed below.

These unoccupied properties are completely exempt from Council Tax:




A property left unoccupied because the occupant is detained.
An exemption will apply if the usual occupier is:

  • detained in prison or hospital by order of a court
  • detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • detained under the deportation provision of the Immigration Act 1972
  • imprisoned, detained or in custody for more than 48 hours under the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957.

This exemption will not apply if a person is in police custody before their first court appearance, or they are detained for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine.
If the conditions are met but there are other people living in the property, the residents may be entitled to a special discount for prisoners.


A property left unoccupied because the resident has gone in to hospital or a care home.
The resident must be in the hospital or the care home for so long that their home can no longer be seen as their main residence.


A property where occupation is prohibited by law, or which is unoccupied by action taken under an Act of Parliament, with a view to prohibiting its occupation.


A property kept unoccupied because it has to be available for a minister of religion.
The exemption applies to a property held for a minister of any religious denomination as a residence from which to perform the duties of their office.
Members of religious communities may also qualify for a special Council Tax discount.


A property left unoccupied by a resident who has gone elsewhere to receive personal care.


A property left unoccupied because the resident is providing long term care to someone who needs it.


A property left unoccupied by a student owner who is living elsewhere because of their studies.


An unoccupied property that has been repossessed.


An unoccupied property that is the responsibility of a trustee in a bankruptcy.


A caravan pitch or a houseboat mooring that is not occupied by a caravan or a boat.


An unoccupied annexe which cannot be let separately due to planning restrictions.

These unoccupied properties are exempt for a limited period of time:

Class Description

An unoccupied property, which is owned by a registered charity and was previously used by that charity, can be exempt for up to six months.
Once the exemption period expires, a full Council Tax charge becomes payable.

Please note that new-build properties or those newly purchased by a charity are not eligible for this exemption.

F A property left unoccupied following the death of the Council Tax payer.
The exemption is granted from the date of death, until probate is granted. Following a grant of probate or letters of administration, a further six months exemption is possible as long as the property remains unoccupied and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.
Once the exemption period expires, a full Council Tax charge becomes payable.

These occupied properties are exempt from Council Tax:

Class Description
M Student halls of residence.
N A property where all the occupants are in one of the following groups, or a property that is occupied in term-time only and at least one of the occupants are in one of the following groups:
  • Full-time students (including foreign language assistants and some student nurses).
  • Non-British husbands, wives, civil partners or dependents of students, who are not allowed to work or claim benefits.
  • Recent school or college leavers under 20 and/or students under 20 who are studying up to A level.  
O Armed forces accommodation whether occupied or unoccupied.
P Visiting armed forces accommodation as long as at least one resident who would be liable for Council Tax is a member (or dependent) of a visiting force and is neither a British citizen or ordinary resident in the UK.

A property occupied by only one person who has a severe mental impairment confirmed by a doctor.

A property where all the people who live there are severely mentally impaired and this has been confirmed by a doctor.

S A property where all the people who live there are under the age of 18 until someone who is 18, or older, lives there.
V A property where at least one liable person has diplomatic privileges or immunity as long as they are not a permanent UK resident, British citizen, British subject or British protected person and the UK is not their main residence or another dwelling in the UK is not their main residence.
W A property that is part of another property (an annexe or 'granny flat') and a dependent relative lives there who is 65 or over, severely mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled.
This exemption can be given for as long as the dependent relative lives there.

Other assistance – for flood, fire or vandalism

In some cases we may be able to offer you short-term assistance towards your bill, if your property becomes uninhabitable because of an unforeseen situation. For example a flood, fire or vandalism by tenants, which is causing you particular financial difficulty.

Please contact us for further information.

Apply for an exemption

Print off the application form, fill it in and return it to us:

Email - scan it and send it to us at

Post it to - Council Tax, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG

Can't print the form? Call us on 01225 47 77 77 (during office hours*) and we’ll send you one.

(*office hours are: Mon, Tues & Thurs 8:30am - 5.00pm, Weds 9:30am - 5:00pm and Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm)

After you've applied for the exemption

You must continue to pay the instalments shown on your Council Tax bill until you hear from us.

We periodically check accounts that have been granted discounts and exemptions, and we reserve the right to use credit reference agencies to validate claims. If we contact you to review your exemption and we don’t hear back from you, we will cancel it.

You must tell us if there is a change in your circumstances that may affect your exemption. If you don't tell us you may have to pay a penalty.



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