Cookies information

We use cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Council Tax discounts

Show all parts of this guide

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.

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 Uninhabitable property application form  and return it to us, via the upload functionality through our contact us form.

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

Long term empty property premiums

In order to encourage long term empty properties to be brought back into use, the Council is able to apply premiums to the amount of Council Tax charged.

Since 1.4.2024 properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished : 

  • for 1 year or more, the Council Tax charge will increase by 100% (double the usual bill)
  • for 5 years or more, the Council Tax charge will increase by 200% (triple the usual bill)
  • for 10 years or more, the Council Tax charge will increase by 300% (quadruple the usual bill)

The premium will be detailed on your Council Tax bill. If a property becomes occupied or substantially furnished, the premium will no longer apply. 

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, there will be a 100% premium in addition to the standard 100% charge. This means a total charge of 200% (double the usual bill).