C-Tax and Death

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    I do a drop-in session at a homeless hostel; today this guy spoke to me with regards to the following.

    He has been homeless for a period of time (months if not years),
    He is a joint owner of the marital home,
    His estranged wife died April of this year,
    He got 6 months exemption from c-tax,
    The C-tax dept are now chasing him for the outstanding amount, from Oct onwards.
    He has no intention of going back to live at the property, various reason, drink issues, mental health etc.
    He said something about a ‘Grant of Confirmation’ needed to continue exemption.

    Is he liable?
    If he is, can he get extended exemption?
    If not can he get benefit, even though he does not reside in the address?

    I know Iā€™m asking a lot but any help would be gratefully received.

    Tom šŸ˜•

    Carol Meredith

    Do not know much about the liability side of things but he cannot get Council Tax Benefit on a property that he does not occupy.


    Normally when a Ctax payer dies and we know of no other liable party, we contact the deceased’s next of kin or Solicitor to ask for the date of grant of confirmation and in whose favour it was made so that we can make them liable. Grant of confirmation allows a person to gain access to a deceased person’s estate.

    The property is exempt indefinitely if the liability falls under the deceased’s estate and continues until someone moves in (liability would then be the responsibility of the new occupier) or grant of confirmation is made.

    Once grant of confirmation is made the property can be exempt up to a maximum of 6 months as long as it is no-one’s sole or main residence. Thereafter it would reduce to 50% zero occupancy discount (or lower depending on local policy).

    However in this case, you have mentioned that the gentleman you have been dealing with is already a joint owner and because of this is liable for the Council Tax (Hierarchy of liability – non-resident owner – of whole or part of the property). If the property is unoccupied and unfurnished he would get a maximum exemption for up to 6 months, which would then reduce to 50% (and possibly even lower depending on local policy).
    This sounds like what the Local Authority are doing. So, yes, looks like he is liable.

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