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Council tax discounts

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5. Empty properties

Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished qualify for 100% discount for one month. 

The discount begins when the property becomes unoccupied and unfurnished regardless of any change of ownership within this period.

The discount relates to the property, for example, if there is a change in liable person, that person is only entitled to the remaining part of the one month period, as appropriate.

An additional premium of 50% will be added when the property has been continuously empty for two years, regardless of any change of ownership within this period

Changes to Empty Homes Premium from April 2019

The Empty Homes premium is changing from 1 April 2019. This means that the premium charge for properties that have been empty for 2 years or more will increase to an additional 100% (or double the standard charge). This will be indicated on your council tax bill.

This is part of a series of scheduled increases allowed under the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax Empty Dwellings Act 2018, to encourage empty properties to be brought back into use.

Summary of changes to the empty homes premium :

  • 1st April 2019 onwards increased to an extra 100% for properties empty 2 years or more
  • 1st April 2020 onwards increased to an extra 200% for properties empty 5 years or more
  • 1st April 2021 onwards increased to an extra 300% for properties empty 10 years or more

Uninhabitable properties

A property which requires major repair work to make it habitable may qualify for discount. You could get a 50% discount for:

  • up to twelve months, or
  • up to six months after the completion of works, to the maximum twelve month period.

This discount ends immediately if the property becomes occupied or furnished.

Please note:

  • works that are required to bring the property up to a standard for commercial let would not necessarily meet the criteria for the discount
  • if the property could be lived in whilst the works are being carried out (such as new bathroom, new kitchen, rewiring and plastering) it is very unlikely that the property would meet the criteria for the discount.

To apply please download and complete the application form which also contains further guidance.

Each case is considered on an individual basis, taking into consideration the physical condition of the property and the nature of the work that is needed.

To apply and/or send supporting evidence (eg. photographs) please contact us by email.