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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My father is about to enter a care home, I am trying to clarify

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My father is about to enter a care home, I am trying to clarify the rules on Council Tax. At what point does the bungalow he owns cease to require the payment of council tax- when he enters the home?;when he becomes permanently a resident there( normally a 3/4 week trail period on both sides); when we put the home on the market( are there any time periods here?); if I were to stay the occasional night on the bungalow to visit my father until it is sold and to gradually clear it does that mean the bungalow is "occupied" and council tax has to be paid? Additionally we understand that house insurance can cease to be valid if a house is left empty for an extended period- if we were to stay the occasional night to avoid this eventuality would that mean council tax would have to continue to be paid? Is there a leaflet from any organisation that we should be reading on the subject for guidance?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I ask if your father is the sole occupier and owner of the property please?
  2. If you propose to stay there do you have your own home (owned or rented) which you would live in for most of the time apart from the very occasional stay at your fathers property?
  3. Finally is the decision regarding your fathers care to be permanent or is it to be a trial intially?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sole occupier- he is the owner.

I have my own accommodation

An initial trial -on both sides.

Thank you. The position is that no exemption is available during any trial period. Council tax will continue to be payable (of course with any exemptions or reductions he presently enjoys e.g. sole occupiers 25% reduction). However the position changes if and when the move is decided to be made permanent. If it is decided that your father is to remain in care permanently, at that point, he, or you on his behalf can apply for a class E council tax exemption regardless of whether it is furnished or unfurnished.The qualifying criteria are that your father must be the sole owner and occupier of the property and that he must have permanently left the property to enter care in either a registered care home (as defined as an establishment for which registration is required under Part 1 of the Registered Homes Act 1984, (or would be required to register but for 1(4) or 1(5)) of that Act; or a building providing accommodation under Section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948) or a nursing care home (within the meaning of the Registered Homes Act 1984). In practice the care home he moves to is all but certain to fall under one of these two definitions - you can confirm with the local authority or care home directly that they do.If the decision is made permanent, you can contact the local authorities Council tax Department and asked them for a class E exemption application form. In fact, you can do so now if you anticipate that your father's move is likely to become permanent so that the application can be made without delay if and when the decision is made to make the permanent.Exemption will remain so long as the property remains unoccupied. If it is decided to rent the property out, the exemption will come to an end. Your occasional occupation of the property will not impact the exemption providing you maintain a separate property which you use as your main or sole residence. if you were to give up your alternative property and move into the property or spend more time at your father's property then you do your other property, the exemption would also end and you would need to notify the local authority of the change of circumstances or they could bring a prosecution for council tax fraud. Councils are quite hot on the sort of thing so if you feel your occupation is moving beyond the odd day each week and you are spending more time at your father's property, you may wish to consider contacting the Council tax Department to notify the so as not to risk any adverse involvement of the enforement team.Other than that it is essentially as straightforward as if and when your father's movies permanent, the exemption can be applied for and will remain so long as your father remains in care and the property remains empty (subject to your occasional occupation).I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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