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. The main reductions are:-
1. If there is only one adult occupier left at the property a 25% discount can be claimed.
2. If the property is unoccupied and was rented by the deceased, it will normally be exempt from charges until the keys are returned to the owner. This is when the tenancy is considered to end.
3. If the property was owned by the deceased and is unoccupied, while it hasn’t been sold or transferred, it will be exempt from charges until probate is granted and for up to six months after that date if it remains unoccupied.
4. If the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished, six months after probate is granted, the full rate of council tax becomes payable from the deceased’s estate. If furniture is removed after this time 100% discount can be applied for one month from the date the furniture was removed.
An additional amount of council tax (a 'premium') is to be paid when a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for a continuous period of two years. From 1st April 2013 there will be a 50% premium added to the council tax, meaning that the owners of properties which have been unoccupied and unfurnished for a continuous period of two years, have to pay the whole council tax bill, plus an extra 50%.
From the date the property is transferred to the beneficiaries, they will become liable to pay the council tax for the property and a new account will be set up in the beneficiaries’ name.
We regularly inspect unoccupied properties, and you can help us keep our records up to date by informing us whenever a change occurs, i.e. when probate is granted or the property is sold, transferred or reoccupied.
If you are an executor or dealing with probate matters on behalf of someone and you need further advice, you can contact the Council Tax Office by telephone on 023 8083 3009, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or you may write to us at Local Taxation Service, Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY or complete the deceased chargepayer form.