Council Tax when someone dies

It's important to tell us when an adult has died so we can update the Council Tax details for the property they lived in.

We don't need to know that someone under 18 has died unless you were getting a Council Tax reduction that was linked to their circumstances. In this situation, contact the Council Tax team.

If you've already reported the death, you can check what happens about Council Tax when someone dies.

Reporting the death to the Council Tax team

The easiest way to report a death to the Council Tax team is to use the GOV.UK Tell Us Once service. This service passes information about deaths to us and most other organisations in one go. The registrar will tell you about the service when you register the death. 

If you haven't used Tell Us Once, you can tell our Council Tax team by using our online form.

What you will need before you start our form

Before you start our form, you'll need to know:

  • the person's details including full address and date of death
  • the names of any other adults who still live in the property

It would also be helpful if you can tell us the following:

  • date Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration were obtained or applied for, where relevant
  • contact details of the property owner, or agent if the person who died was not the owner
  • contact details of one of the executors
  • contact details of the solicitor dealing with the person's affairs, if any

Report a death to the Council Tax team

If the person who died was claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax support, you'll also need to

Report a death to the Benefits team

What happens about Council Tax when someone dies

What happens about Council Tax when someone dies depends on the circumstances.

When the person lived alone

When a person lived alone in a property they owned, their home can get a 100% Council Tax reduction for up to six months after probate has been granted. To find out more and apply for the reduction, see Council Tax and unoccupied properties.

If the property was rented, the 100% reduction will last until the date the tenancy ends or for 6 months after probate is granted, whichever comes first.

When there were two adults in the property

If you lived with the person who has died and you are now the only adult in the household, we'll update the account details so the account is in your name only. We'll send you a new bill confirming the change within 20 days, unless we need to contact you for more information.

Council Tax reductions for single adults in a property

As a single adult in a property, you can get a 25% Single Person Discount on your Council Tax. Both Tell Us Once and our own online Council Tax report a death form cover asking for the reduction - you don't need to apply separately. 

When there were more than two adults in the property

If the property was occupied by more than two adults and one person has died, we’ll transfer the Council Tax account into the names of the remaining owners or occupiers. We'll send you a new bill with the updated names within 20 days, unless we need to contact you for more information.

Council tax reductions where there are more than two adults left in a property after someone has died

The change in circumstances resulting from the death might mean that the household can get a Council Tax reduction. To check, see  Council Tax reductions for occupied properties.

When Council Tax is payable again

Council Tax becomes due again in any of the following circumstances:

  • someone else moves in

  • the property is passed to someone else

  • where the property is sold

  • where someone else should be liable, for example we learn that there is another owner etc

  • the property was tenanted and rent ceases to be paid. 

If none of these events happen, Council Tax then becomes due again six months after the date probate is granted or Letters of Administration have been made (in cases where there was no will). On this date, the executors or administrators must start to pay the Council Tax for the property. The money should come from the dead person's estate - executors aren't personally liable. They should contact us immediately if there's a problem with making the payment.

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