Empty property and Council Tax

We do not provide any discounts or exemptions for empty properties and full Council Tax will need to be paid from when the property becomes empty.

Empty properties that are substantially furnished

If your property is substantially furnished but is no one's main and sole residence, this is classed as a Second Home and full Council Tax is payable.

This is also applicable to holiday lets that do not meet the government's business rates rules for self-catering properties and also if your property is used for seasonal workers.

Empty and unfurnished properties

Central government rules allow us to charge a Council Tax premium on empty and unfurnished properties after 1 year.

Empty properties can attract anti-social behaviour or vandalism and this premium is to encourage owners to bring properties back into occupation to minimise these risks.

If your property is empty and unfurnished, the following Council Tax is payable:

  • Up to 1 year – 100% Council Tax. 
  • From 1 year to 5 years – 200% Council Tax (includes a long term empty premium of 100%) 
  • From 5 years to 10 years – 300% Council Tax (includes long term empty premium of 200%) 
  • 10 years or more – 400% Council Tax (includes long term empty premium of 300%)

You will not have to pay the premium if either:

  • The empty property is an annex
  • You are in the Armed Forces and you have to move into armed forces accommodation as part of your work

You must notify us if one of the above is applicable to you.

Some empty properties may be exempt, please check our Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

If your property is being refurbished

There are no discounts or exemptions if your property is being modernised or is in poor repair. This includes normal repairs that need replacement such as a roof covering, windows, kitchen or bathroom fittings, rewiring and paintwork and decoration.

In these instances, the empty and unfurnished rules apply and full Council Tax is payable.

If your property is in severe disrepair or is derelict

The Valuation Office Agency will usually only remove a property from the Valuation list if it has been damaged beyond repair and it is not possible to live in it because it has been damaged by weather, rot or vandalism and it would need major structural work to make it 'wind and watertight' again. View more information on GOV.UK Council Tax: domestic properties which are in disrepair or are derelict.

You can challenge your Council Tax band on GOV.UK.

Further information on how we can help bring a property back into use can be found on our Empty homes page.