The Council Tax payer has passed away

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The Council Tax payer has passed away

A guide for the bereaved.

We understand the difficulties relatives and representatives' experience and the arrangements that need to be made when someone has died. Depending on how many people still live at the deceased person's property there may be a discount or exemption that can be claimed.

Was the deceased liable to pay council tax?

If the deceased was liable to pay council tax

You need to let us know about the death. Please provide the following details:

  • the date of death (please provide a copy of the death certificate if possible)
  • whether or not probate is being applied for
  • the name and address of the person dealing with the deceased's affairs (this may be a solicitor or executor)
  • details of anyone else still living in the deceased's property
  • details of what will happen to the property if it is now empty.

If you do not know if the deceased was liable to pay council tax, you should see if their name appeared on the council tax bill sent to their home. If their name appears on the bill then they were liable.

If you are unable to find an up-to-date council tax bill please contact us for advice.

If the deceased was not liable to pay council tax

You should still inform us of the death as it may affect the amount of council tax you or someone else has to pay.

Did the deceased live with you?

If the answer is yes, you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of council tax you have to pay.

If you are now living alone you may be entitled to a 25% Single Person Discount. Please provide a copy of the death certificate along with a covering letter requesting a Single Person Discount.

Did the deceased live alone?

If so, what will happen to their property now? A lot will depend on whether they owned their home or were renting.

Homeowners

If the deceased owned their home will it be sold? You may need to apply for probate before any sale can take place.

  • Any property left empty following the death of the owner is exempt from paying council tax for until probate has been granted providing the property has not been transferred to a beneficiary or new owner.
  • Once probate or letters of administration has been granted, the deceased's home will be exempt from paying council tax from this date for a period of six months when a charge becomes payable.
  • If the property remains under the control of the estate for more than six months after the date of probate was awarded, the Executor will be responsible for making payment of any Council Tax which becomes due. The Executor is not personally liable, payment should be made from the deceased's estate.
  • If a property is transferred to a beneficiary named in the will, any Council Tax liability will pass to them.

Although we do review the circumstances of unoccupied properties, you can help us keep our records up to date by confirming the exact date that probate is granted, and the sale/ transfer details when they become known.

These include the exact date of sale/transfer, and the name of the purchaser/ beneficiary and their current address if you know it. We will then change our records, and send any refund or final bill to the executors of the estate.

Tenants

If the deceased rented their home you will need to tell us the date their tenancy officially ended. This may be a few weeks after the date of death to allow for furniture or personal effects to be removed from the property.

You will also need to give the name and address of the landlord (if known).

The property will be exempt from paying council tax from the date of death until the date the tenancy ends.

Was the deceased in hospital or living in a nursing or residential care home immediately prior to their death?

If the deceased was in hospital or a nursing home and they did not return to their home for any period before they died, they may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of council tax payable.

If they lived alone they will be exempt from paying council tax from the date they went into hospital or a nursing home.

If there was only one person left in their property, that person will be entitled to a 25 per cent discount from the date the deceased went into hospital or a nursing home. Please see our Residents of Nursing Homes, Care Homes and Hospitals page.

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