We'd like to remind Forumites to please avoid political debate on the Forum. This is to keep it a safe and useful space for MoneySaving discussions. Threads that are - or become - political in nature may be removed in line with the Forum’s rules. Thank you for your understanding.

Class I exemption question

My parents-in-law moved in with my husband so that we could look after them due to old age and ill health. They never went back to their old home and no-one ever stayed there - even for one night. Due to lack of space and my mother-in-law's need for her own bedroom to fit in care equipment, my husband and I moved next door, but carried on caring for them. My father-in-law then took over paying council tax on the house he was sharing with his wife. 
The council for his old house has granted a Class i exemption for the period they lived with us and didn't pay council tax here, but they are claiming that as soon as he started paying here, his old home became a "second home" and therefore full council tax was payable. 

My question is if this is correct and if so, where is stated in the government regulations? I can find references for the regulations stating the following:

"Class I: an unoccupied dwelling which was previously the sole or main residence of a qualifying person who–

(a)has his sole or main residence in another place (not being a hospital, residential care home, nursing home, mental nursing home or hostel within the meaning of paragraphs 6, 7 or 8 of Schedule 1 to the Act) for the purpose of receiving personal care required by him by reason of old age, disablement, illness, past or present alcohol or drug dependence or past or present mental disorder; and

(b)has been a relevant absentee for the whole of the period since the dwelling last ceased to be his residence;"

However, I cannot find any mention of this eligibility coming to an end when someone starts paying council tax elsewhere.


  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,820 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    I think the implication is that if he is paying CT on another dwelling elsewhere, he is not receiving care at that dwelling and thus the vacated dwelling becomes his "second home".
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • NorthernElement
    Thank you. That is what it looks like. However, I don't see why paying council tax and receiving care are mutually exclusive. Both my in-laws were in their 80's and 90's. First one and then the other got the higher rate of Attendance Allowance and had carers come in to provide personal care, while we did all the rest (shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, transport to hospital appointments etc). My husband had to give up his job to care for them.
    Surely it cannot be right that old people are penalised for being cared for by their family, rather than in a care home?
  • NorthernElement
    Could I trouble @CIS to give an opinion on our situation, please? 
  • unforeseen
    unforeseen Posts: 7,315 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    If it was obvious that they would never be going back to their own house, which appears to be the case quite early on, why wasn't the house put on the market and disposed of?
    It is not a case of penalising old people as anybody else would be treated the same. 
  • NorthernElement
    The house would have been cleared and put on the market if we had had the time. As it was we were rather tied up caring for my in-laws, looking after our young child, the livestock and my business.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 14 March 2021 at 6:36PM
    There's nothing directly that says the Class I stops in this sort of case.

    I would argue that they left the property to receive care and they have remained a relevant absentee - there's nothing to say that your circumstances regarding council tax liability cannot change (i.e. go from a guest to a liable person) providing the Class I requirements are met. This sounds like an interesting case to argue with a local authority (better than the HMO cases I have mainly had of late !) but I'd expect a tribunal (which are also a pain in the backside of late).
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • NorthernElement
    Thank you very much - that was my hunch. I will take it up the council again in the first instance and see how far we get.

    Thank you for everyone's input! I will report back on the outcome in due course.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 344.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450.4K Spending & Discounts
  • 236.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 610.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.8K Life & Family
  • 249.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards