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When a Council Tax payer dies

Guidance on how to tell us about a Council Tax payer’s death, and executors’ responsibilities.

How to notify us

If you have opted in to the Tell us Once scheme, you do not need to contact us directly, as the relevant information will be sent to the Council Tax office automatically.

If you choose not to opt in to the Tell us Once scheme, or if the person died abroad, please contact us to report the death. When we receive a notification, we will write to the executors advising what further information is needed, if any.

What happens next

A property left empty following the death of the occupant will be exempt from Council Tax if:

  • the person who died was the sole owner of the property, and it has not been anyone else’s sole/main home since the date of the death, or
  • the person who died was a tenant and the executor is still liable for the rent.

Apply for an exemption

The property will remain exempt for as long as the circumstances remain the same, until:

  • six months after grant of probate/letters of administration are issued, or
  • the property is sold, let, becomes occupied as someone’s main home, or
  • ownership of the property is transferred to a beneficiary.

If the property was rented, the exemption will remain in place until the tenancy is terminated, as long as this period does not extend to further than six months following grant of probate/letters of administration.

Any Council Tax overpaid by the person who died will be refunded to the executors once grant of probate/letters of administration have been issued.

Executors’ responsibilities

The executors are responsible for advising us:

  • when grant of probate/letters of administration are issued
  • when the property is cleared of furniture, and/or
  • when ownership or occupancy of the property changes.

We cannot offer advice on the administering of an estate, and recommend you contact a solicitor or Richmond upon Thames CAB if you have any queries about this.

Got a question?

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Updated: 20 September 2022

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