FOI request (FOIR-184093711)
Class U: SMI Sole Occupant
Requested Mon 16 March 2020
Responded Wed 25 March 2020
s6 of the Council Tax (Discount Disregards and Exempt Dwellings)(Amendment) Order 1995 states:
'Class U: a dwelling occupied only by a person or persons who is or are severely mentally impaired within the meaning given in paragraph 2 of Schedule to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and who would but for this order be liable to pay the council tax.'
Given the above legislation, and where a person is already in receipt of a Class U exemption and an SMI disregard, please kindly answer the following and provide where in the legislation it permits you to answer in that way:
1. Is the person with the SMI disregard/exemption 'invisible' for Council Tax purposes?
2. Is the person with the SMI disregard/exemption disregarded/exempt for Council Tax purposes if the person falls within s6(2) of LGFA 1992?
3. Is the SMI disregard/exemption applicable to all dwellings occupied as a main residence by the person with the SMI?
4. Is the SMI disregard/exemption applicable in the example where a person with a SMI person occupies a dwelling with a son who (but for the SMI occupant) is a single occupant and occupies a dwelling with a daughter who (but for the SMI occupant) is a single occupant? That is, can both the son and the daughter both continue to receive the single person's discount? In this instance both dwellings are main residences.
5. Does a single occupant need to 'declare' an occupant with a SMI to a billing authority if they have previously been in receipt of a Class U? For example, the SMI person no longer has a dwelling that is a Class U because they have given it up.
6. The person with the SMI occupies two dwellings as the sole occupant. Both are main dwellings and neither is a sole dwelling. Each dwelling comes under a different billing authority and is a significant distance apart. Does a Class U apply to each dwelling?
7. As Q4 but each dwelling is with the same billing authority? Does a Class U apply to each dwelling?
8. The person with the SMI occupies two dwellings as the sole occupant (either in a different billing authority or the same) and occupies a dwelling with a son who would be a single occupant but for the SMI occupant. All dwellings are main dwellings. Does a Class U apply to the two dwellings solely occupied by the SMI person and a disregard for the dwelling occupied with the son?
9, Do you agree that the SMI disregard/exemption is permanent and, providing the person is entitled to a qualifying benefit, it does not need to be re-applied for?
10. A SMI person with a Class U exemption moves house (to a different billing authority) and solely occupies that house. What is the process for continuing with the Class U?
11. A SMI person with a Class U exemption moves house (within the same billing authority region) and solely occupies that house. What is the process for continuing with the Class U?
1) Yes, unless they are the sole occupier in which case they remain on the bill but, if they qualify, a Class U exemption is granted.
3) They can only occupy one property as their sole or main residence so they would receive Disregard/exemption on the property which is their sole or main residence only.
4) As above, they can only occupy one property as their sole or main residence so a disregard (25%) would be granted on one of the properties.
5) If they had moved from a property where they were the sole occupier and in receipt of a Class U exemption and move to another property within the same borough, then yes we would need to know as the person with the single discount would no longer be the sole occupier but a SMI disregard would be applied in its place.
6) No, as previously stated a Class U would only apply to one of the properties (it is an occupied disregard/exemption).
9) Yes, but we may do a review periodically to establish there has been no change to occupancy affecting the disregard/exemption.
10) If they move to another authority they would re-apply with that authority.
11) Class U exemption would be transferred.
Freedom of Information