Empty and unoccupied properties Council Tax discount
Empty, unoccupied and unfurnished (0 to 6 months)
A discount of 50% may apply where a property is empty (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished). The discount will start from the date the furniture is removed and will end after a 6-month period or earlier if the property becomes occupied or if furniture is moved in.
Empty, unoccupied and unfurnished (6 to 24 months)
A discount of 25% may apply where a property has been empty between 6 and 24 months.
Empty, unoccupied and unfurnished homes undergoing major repair work or structural alterations
A discount of 50% may apply where a property is empty, unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and in need of major repair works before anyone can live there. This includes homes that are currently undergoing work to repair damage such as:
- major fire damage
- major flood damage
- structural alterations such as replacement of brick work or underpinning, not cosmetic
- major structural repairs to the roof such as a new roof or roof joists, not minor repairs such as new slates, tiles, or guttering.
This discount can apply for a maximum of 12 months.
Long term empty properties (24 months or more)
For the purpose of this premium a 'long-term empty' home is a property that has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 24 months.
From 1 April 2019 we have decided to set the premium at 100% so the full charge for a long-term empty home will be 200%.
From 1 April 2020 a premium of 200% (a total charge of 300%), will be charged for homes that have been empty and unfurnished for more than 5 years.
From 1 April 2021 a premium of 300% (a total charge of 400%), will be charged for homes that have been empty and unfurnished for more than 10 years.
The changes to the premium are intended to encourage owners of long-term empty homes to bring their properties back into use. They also support work undertaken by us to reduce the number of long-term empty properties and make better use of existing housing in the borough.
View more information on long term empty properties and support available to help get them back into use.
Long term empty property exceptions
Our policy includes an exception to the empty homes premium.
At our discretion, the long term empty property premium may be temporarily removed where the property is being marketed actively for sale or let in line with average prices within the local area.
This exception is effective from the date the property is marketed for sale or let for a maximum period of 6 months, after which the empty homes premium would apply again.
You will need to provide us with the full contact details of your letting/sales agent when notifying us of this.
Our policy also includes that in special circumstances requests to waive the Council Tax long term empty property premium may be considered, under delegated powers, by the Executive Member (Resources)
If you think that you might be entitled to this exception, please let us know by completing a general enquiry form.
Properties not affected
There are 2 types of property that are not affected by the premium:
- property which is left empty by a member of the armed services, who is away as a result of their service
- part of a building which forms a single property, for example, an annexe.
The information provided is intended as guidance only and is not a full statement of the law.
There are various discounts that you may be able to claim to reduce your bill. If you claim a discount and your circumstances change you must let us know within 21 days of the change or face a penalty.