A sole dwelling is the only dwelling maintained by the tax relief applicant as his or her full-time residence. Virginia permits localities to provide a real estate tax exemption on “real estate … designed for continuous habitation owned by, and occupied as the sole dwelling…”
The tax relief available to an otherwise qualified applicant should not be affected if he or she randomly and sporadically visits his or her family or friends and sleeps away from home for indeterminate, short periods of time. However, if a person regularly resides in another house during a certain period of time each year, that person will likely not qualify for tax relief.
An individual residing in a hospital, nursing home, convalescent home or other facilities for physical or mental care for an extended period of time, shall not lose his or her exemption, as long as the applicant’s dwelling is not be rented.
Each individual’s situation will be different and could result in the need for the taxpayer to provide an explanation and/or additional documentation to make a qualification determination.