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bigduckontax, Accountant
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My grandmother owns a property in Edinburgh. She had to move

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My grandmother owns a property in Edinburgh. She had to move in to full time care, and the council granted an indefinite exemption from Council tax on her property. I moved in this year to 'caretake' the house' for over 7 months, and began paying council tax as I should for doing so. I have now vacated the property, and even though it is still owned by her and she is liable for the tax payments, they will no longer grant an exemption as I have been in the property.. is this right?

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

It would appear not, here is Shelter Scotland advice:

'My house is empty because I have had to leave to receive care

You will be exempt from paying council tax if you are away from home to receive care because:

  • you are elderly
  • you suffer from ill-health or a mental health problem
  • you have a disability
  • you are or have been dependent on alcohol or drugs.

You are only exempt from paying council tax after you have been away for six weeks, but you can be away indefinitely.'

Citizens Advice Scotland comment on exemption from Council Tax:

'property unoccupied because the person who lived there now lives elsewhere because they need to be cared for, for example, in hospital, in a care home or with relatives'

This is clearly a try on by a Council desperate to acquire funds from any source they can giving questionable advice in the hope that the recipient will just keel over and pay up, my advice is 'Don't.'

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Keith,I appreciate your response - I had indeed read those two excerpts from the council and CAS, which cover her for the initial eligibility, however there is obviously no detail on situations like this which obviously requires a finer depth of knowledge, either through experience of dealing with this type of exemption or seeing it happen.Do you have any further insight into the clauses that would allow the council to remove this exemption (or likewise us to keep it)? Or what the line is between who owns the property, who is liable for it, and if exemptions are made on who is liable?Thanks

There are none, this is a typical Local Authority try on which will fail on challenge. What possible reference has your short occupation got to do with the owner's situation. Answer, not one jot.

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Thank you for your support.