Council Tax - Empty Property - Dementia but still only 6 months relief

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
In short i have put my mother into private care (as her estate was over the threshold) and to cover the costs i have had to put her house up for sale. As the house is empty and has no furniture the council tax is zero.
The house has been for sale for 6 months but unfortunately in the Scottish Borders the housing market is dead - there has been no interest whatsoever.
I have now been informed that now after this 6 month period my mother now has to pay 50% of the current Council Tax and then after a further 6 months if the house is still not sold she will have to pay 200% (two hundred percent) of the current council tax figure.
This on top of her current care costs i feel is very unfair.
Anyone else experienced this or know of a work around ?
What was wrong with mum - I'm wondering if she could have exemption on the grounds of "severe mental impairment". Have you asked the council to do a financial assessment, as mum is now paying for residential care, it might be that she doesn't need to pay due to financial circumstances?
This link to Citizens Advice Scotland ... cil-tax-s/
shows your mother shoukd be exempt under item 5, not under item 1 which is more for abandoned properties
I suggest you contact your local branch of Citizens Advice, or the local council for confirmation
bowlingbun wrote:What was wrong with mum - I'm wondering if she could have exemption on the grounds of "severe mental impairment". Have you asked the council to do a financial assessment, as mum is now paying for residential care, it might be that she doesn't need to pay due to financial circumstances?
My Mum has Dementia and to complicate maters her Care Home is in a different LA area.
When she stayed in the house previously she did get exemption - but now they say 6 months only.
In that case ring or email our Carers UK helpline, they will get back to you with a full answer within a week.
This might be a bit of a 'brutal' answer to your dilemma, but here goes - bear with me, and please make allowances for the extremity of my suggestion!

First of all, do you have any idea what your mum's life expectancy is likely to be? I know with dementia it's hard to tell, even if there are other health complications. (My own MIL with dementia at 92 is likely to live for several more years, as she's physically pretty damn fit for her age - but, again, you never know. If nothing else 'gets' her, then eventually the dementia will, but that could take years too.)

The reason I ask is this - my next question is, what is the value of her estate?

What I'm getting at is this - IF her life expectancy is such that it is likely to long enough for her to 'burn through' the value of her estate (down to the £23k limit)(when LA funding kicks in) - and basically, when she does die there will be 'nothing left' of her estate (except the £20 k odd etc), then you are basically accepting that she will 'die broke'. (I'm afraid that is my assumption for my MIL - I reckon she's got another couple of years, three at the most, before all the money she got from selling her flat has gone into care home fees -it' terrifying!).

So, IF you have no 'expectations of inheriting' anything, then my suggestion might be to 'throw in the towel' straight away. Basically, hand over the property to the Local Council and let them do what they want with it to fund her care costs. You have nothing to lose, and neither does your poor mum.

Sorry if that sounds a bit drastic, but it might be a way out of the dilemma of being forced to pay council tax on a property that you are desperate to sell to pay care home fees that are, presumably, starting to accumulate!!!!!

All the best possible in an invidious and frustrating situation.
I was feeling "that can't be right" so I googled "Council Tax Scotland" and it came up with a CAB page. I think you must be dealing with some sort of jobsworth bully at your local council. It lists exemptions to CT, one of which relates to a property which is empty because the resident is living elsewhere due to infirmity (have a look for the exact words). I suggest you print it off, and take it into the council.
That rings a bell, because my MIL is Scottish, and she moved south into care before we could sell her flat, and I remember the council people telling me she could have a tax exemption, which I think she got for a while till I sold it.

By the way, when you do sell your mum's property, you will need, most annoyingly to my mind, to tell them the name of the person who bought it. Otrherwise they go on billing your mum for the damn CT! I had a real run in with the council over it, as they kept sending nasty letters, and by that time I'd filed the sale paperwork and digging out just who the damn purchaser was was a pain. Why the hell the council couldn't have just written 'to the occupier' to get him to get in touch with them I don't know. I'd written very formal letters informing them that my MIL was NO LONGER the owner, and they should apply to the new owner. They just couldn't be bothered to find out for themselves. Really pxxxxxd me off! It was NOT my legal responsibility, OR my MIL's to tell them who lived there now. The purchaser could have rented it out the first week he bought it for all I know! Bah, they make me so bloody cross.....grrrrrrrrrrr

Good luck with the exemption!!!!!
Thanks to all who have commented on this - much appreciated.

It appears that we have no exemption due to my Mothers dementia -
When my mothers Dementia was progressing i bought a sheltered flat for to live in (in a different LA area from her own house) so she could be closer to me.
At that time we tried to sell her property but the market was dead so to cover additional Carers costs we put the house out to rent.
Then when her dementia got worse it was time to put her into permanent care. We were told we need to sell her house (charging order) buy placing the house on the market (tenantless) and as she was not the last person to be registered on the Council Tax System (the tenant was) the house falls under the normal Council Tax assessment procedures that are applied for any domestic property that is for sale.

6 months - zero Council Tax
6 months 50% discount
Then the long term empty property tariff of 200% (two hundred percent)

Currently waiting on a meeting with the Finance Dept of the LA that my Mother now comes under.
i.e. What happens if this house doesn't sell ?
How can I protect what should be £26,250.00 (within the value of the house) that I feel should remain in my Mothers estate.
I think your situation is so individual that you would be better to ring the Carers UK helpline for formal advice, especially as both Scottish and English rules might apply!