Council tax

Bereavement and council tax

It's important to report a bereavement because:

  • we may need to update our council tax records for the property
  • the change in circumstances may result in a council tax discount

You can apply for exemptions or discounts at the same time as reporting the bereavement.

Tell us of a bereavement

If you prefer, you can use the Tell Us Once bereavement service, which is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, to report a death to multiple local and central government services. This can be helpful to reduce ‘paperwork’ when you’re coping with the emotional difficulties of bereavement.

Exemptions or discounts may not automatically be applied at the property if you use the Tell Us Once service.

Exemption at an empty property

An exemption may be applied for council tax if the deceased party was:

  • the only person at the address
  • the owner of the property

The exemption will last for 6 months after probate is granted in respect of the deceased person's estate, or until such time as there is a new owner or occupier, whichever is sooner.

A change of ownership or sale of a vacant property is usually dependent on when probate is granted.

Single occupancy discount at a property

If, following a bereavement, there's only 1 adult occupant left at an address a single occupancy discount may apply.

You're able to request a single occupancy discount when you inform us of a bereavement online.

Change of liable party for an empty property

If the deceased party wasn't the owner, then liability for council tax will be transferred to the owner or landlord of the property.

Also see

Council Tax appointments

To get council tax advice in person at West Offices, you need to make an appointment.

Make an appointment