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Council tax discounts

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5. Empty Properties

Properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished may qualify for a 100% discount for up to one calendar month.  

The discount begins when the property first becomes both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, regardless of any changes to the council tax liability within this period. 

The discount will end sooner if the property becomes substantially furnished or occupied. A new period of discount entitlement can only be considered again once a property has been occupied (lived in) for at least 6 weeks.

Properties that are empty for 2 years or more – Empty Homes Premium

Properties that are continuously unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more will attract a premium (increased charge), regardless of any change of ownership within this period. This is to encourage long term empty properties to be brought back into use. 

  • For properties that are empty for 2 years or more, the council tax charge will increase by 100% (double the usual bill)
  • For properties that are empty for 5 years or more, the council tax charge will increase by 200% (triple the usual bill)
  • For properties that are empty for 10 years or more, the council tax charge will increase by 300% (quadruple the usual bill)

Any premium applied will be detailed on your council tax bill.  If properties become occupied or substantially furnished, the premium will no longer apply. 

Proposed changes to Empty Homes Premium from April 2024 

We intend to adopt changes proposed in the Government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to encourage empty properties to be brought back into use.   

Subject to Full Council ratification on 27th February 2024, the Empty Homes Premium will change from 1 April 2024, meaning an Empty Homes Premium of 100% will apply after just 1 year, rather than 2.  

Summary of proposed changes to the Empty Homes Premium:  

  • From 1 April 2024, for properties that are empty for 1 year or more, the council tax charge would increase by 100% (double the usual bill)
  • The premiums for properties that are empty for 5 or more, or 10 or more years, would remain unchanged.

Unoccupied and Furnished Properties – for example Second Homes 

Currently, 100% council tax charge is payable for properties that are substantially furnished and are no-one’s sole or main residence. 

From 1 April 2025, subject to Full Council approval on 27.2.24, there will be a 100% premium in addition to the standard 100% charge. This means a total charge of 200%.

There could be some exceptions to the Empty or Second Homes premiums being applied – details of which have yet to be finalised, subject to Government guidance. More information will be published after 27.2.24. 

Uninhabitable properties 

A property which requires or is undergoing major repair work to make it habitable again may qualify for a 50% discount for up to 12 months.

Not all works will qualify for the discount. Properties that can still be lived in while works are being carried out (such as new bathroom or kitchen) and properties undergoing works to bring them up to a standard for commercial let are unlikely to qualify for the discount.

Each case however 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 for this discount, please download and complete the application form  and return it to us, via the upload functionality available at teignbridge.gov.uk/contactus.

Please note that you will need to provide evidence to support any application you make.