In situations where the resident of a property has left that property to become a resident of a Care Home then it is possible, in some instances, to claim a Council Tax exemption on the vacated property.
What Council Tax reduction is available ?
Where the only resident of a property has ceased to be resident because of a permanent move in to a Care Home then, as long as they are still liable for the Council Tax charge (as an owner or tenant), they may be eligible to claim a Class E exemption
Sole or Main Residence for Council Tax
In order for the Class E exemption to be considered the property must have ceased to be the ‘sole or main residence’ of the resident who is moving to a Care Home. ‘Sole or main residence’ is not specifically defined in legislation however case-law has determined that a good indication of a person’s ‘sole or main residence’ would be to consider where an independent, outside observer, would say that person was living when presented with the information at hand.
If this consideration of ‘sole or main residence’ would indicate that they are no longer living in the property and there was no ‘intention to return’ to live in it then it is likely that they would no longer be regarded as resident for Council Tax purposes and any claim for exemption could be considered.
What is a ‘Resident’ ?
For Council tax purposes the definition of resident is provided in Section 6 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
“Resident”, in relation to any dwelling, means an individual who has attained the age of 18 years and has his sole or main residence in the dwelling.
What if other adults are resident ?
If someone else remains resident in the property then a Class E exemption cannot be applied. Any reductions which are due would depend on the exact situation regarding the remaining resident(s).
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This article is solely the view of LGFA92, the Council Tax experts, based on our interpretation of legislation. Your local authority is free to dispute this view. A binding decision may require the intervention of a valuation tribunal.