How to manage someone's Council Tax when they die

A relative, friend or solicitor of the deceased should inform us of the death as soon as possible using one of the methods below.

Tell Us Once service

If you register the death at the registry office, you will be given a unique Tell Us Once reference number.

You can use this to inform all the relevant government departments, including council tax, in one transaction.

Report a death using Tell Us Once

Report a death directly to the Council Tax department

In most cases, we are told that someone has died via the 'Tell Us Once' scheme or Registrar of Deaths. However, there is no automatic sharing of information between the Council Tax office and other Departments if the information is received outside of these methods. If you only need to inform the Council Tax department of the death, you can let us know directly.

We will need to know:

  • the name of the deceased persons and the date they died
  • the address where they lived
  • the names and addresses of any executors or administrators to the will of the deceased person
  • the name and address of an appointed solicitor if you prefer the council to deal with your solicitor directly
  • any other properties that the deceased person owned in Harrow even if they are currently let out or empty

If you do not have all of the information at once, it can be provided when it is known.

Report a death to the Council Tax department

What happens after the death has been reported?

If the property was occupied by one person

If the taxpayer lived alone, the property may be exempt from Council Tax until the earliest of one of the following:

  • the date probate is granted
  • the property is re-occupied
  • the tenancy ends
  • the property is sold

If the property is rented, then the liability for the estate will end on the date the tenancy ends.

You will need to inform us of when one of the above events occur using the General enquiry form.

If an exemption is granted, the council may contact the executors periodically to review the case.

If the property was occupied by two adults

If the deceased Council Taxpayer was jointly liable for Council Tax with another party and Council Tax Support was in payment, we will close the original Council Tax Account and open a new one for the remaining liable persons.

Where a deceased Council Taxpayer was a partner of the remaining resident, any credit balance that may arise from their joint Council Tax account will be transferred to a new Council Tax account created in the remaining partner’s name. A 25% discount may also be given to the remaining partner, for details see single person discount.

If the property was occupied by more than two adults

If the property was occupied by more than two adults, you will need to confirm the names of the people occupying the property via the general enquiry form. You can also find out if you qualify for a discount or exemption.

If the property has been sold

If the ownership of a property is transferred to a beneficiary of the will, after the probate exemption is granted (up to six months), the responsibility for the Council Tax will then pass to the beneficiary.

If for any reason after probate has been granted the property remains under the control of the estate for more than six months, a full council tax charge is due. The executor is responsible for making payment of the council tax. The executor is not personally responsible for Council Tax charges, and payment should be made from the deceased estate.

If payment cannot be made until the property has been sold, then in some cases we can suspend collection. This depends on either the provision of a solicitor's undertaking or we put a charge on the property. This may involve additional costs.

When probate has been granted

Once probate is granted, we must be notified when ownership is transferred / registered on Land Registry so that we can ensure the Council Tax records are kept up to date. 

We will need to know the name, address, and contact details of who is dealing with the estate so we can ensure notices are issued to the correct person.

You can send this to us using our Evidence upload form

If it remains unoccupied from the date of probate, there is a further exempt period of up to 6 months. However, this will end if 

  • the property is sold.
  • the property is reoccupied as someone’s sole or main residence.


Executors are the people appointed in the will to deal with the estate of a person who has passed away. The will, or letters of administration, advise if you have been appointed to be the executor of the estate. When probate is granted a document is issued to the executor providing them with the authority to deal with the estate.

Requesting a refund on an overpaid Council Tax account

If there is a credit on the account at the date of death, we will need a completed refund form together with a copy of either the grant of probate, will, or letters of administration. For details see Request a Council Tax Refund.

Multiple homes

If the person who has passed away owned more than 1 property in the borough, we will need to be told about each address as the exemption will not necessarily apply if the property was not being used as their sole or main residence. You can do this using the Evidence upload form.

When there is no will

You will need to seek letters of administration. View more information on  wills, probate and inheritance.