If there have been changes in ownership and residency of the property in the time since the exemption began or was last renewed, the property may no longer be eligible to receive it.
Your renewal application may be denied or the Department of Finance may remove SCHE from the property. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to keep the benefit.
If you’re the surviving spouse or sibling of someone who received SCHE and are listed on the deed as an owner of the property, you may be able to renew the benefits under your name.
The surviving spouse must be at least 62 years old and the sibling must be at least 65.
If DOF mailed a renewal application addressed to the deceased owner, you can use a blank renewal application so you can fill it out with your name.
You must provide:
- Information about your income
- A copy of your spouse or sibling's death certificate
- Proof of ownership
The passing of an owner doesn’t increase the taxes you pay.
If your parent owned the property and passed away, you aren’t eligible to renew the benefit, but you may apply as a new applicant if you think you meet the program requirements. For eligibility information and applications, go to the Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption (SCHE) page.
The property must be the primary residence for all senior owners and their spouses to be eligible for SCHE. However, if you were mailed a renewal application for an exemption on your property that’s addressed to a co-owner who isn’t living there anymore, you may still be eligible to renew the benefit.
You can continue to receive the exemption if the co-owner doesn't live on the property because of:
- Legal separation
- Living in a residential health care facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility
If the co-owner no longer lives on the property for any other reason, you must provide income documentation, and all owners must sign the application to renew the benefit.
If the previous owner died or transferred ownership, and you’ve become the new owner of the property, you can’t continue to receive the former owner’s benefits. If you receive a renewal application addressed to the former owner, you can’t use it to renew the benefit under your name, but if you meet the program eligibility requirements, you may apply for SCHE and other tax benefits as a new applicant. For eligibility information and applications, go to the Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption (SCHE) page.
Life Estates and Trusts
If the property is now owned by a trust or if a life estate is now on the property, you need to submit a copy of the trust or life estate documents with the application.
If any owner holds a life estate in the property, that person is the owner for SCHE eligibility purposes. The body of the most recent Deed must say “Retained life estate.” The owner with the life estate must complete the application using their income. Eligibility will be based on their income and if they meet all eligibility requirements. You must submit proof of income and a copy of the life estate with the application.
If the property is owned by a trust, only the qualifying beneficiary (trustee) can renew the exemption. The beneficiary should submit proof of their income and a copy of the trust with the application. The name of the beneficiary/trustee can be found within the Trust documents which should specifically state who has the right to live on the property.
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
If an LLC now owns the property, it is no longer eligible to receive personal exemptions or abatements and the benefit will be removed. An LLC is a business, regardless of the number of owners or their relationship to each other. Property owned by LLCs and other businesses aren’t eligible for personal exemptions or abatements.