Empty property and Council Tax

From 1 April 2013, the exemption classes for unoccupied and unfurnished properties (class C) and properties requiring major repair work to make them habitable (class A) were removed and replaced by a 25 percent discount. The Government gave local councils discretion to determine the levels of discount.

From 1 April 2014, discounts for unoccupied and unfurnished properties and those requiring major repair work to make them habitable, stopped.

Also from 1 April 2014, an additional Council Tax premium of 50 percent was applied to dwellings that were vacant for more than 2 years and substantially unfurnished. These are classed as 'long term empty' properties.

Long term empty properties from 1 April 2019 onwards

From 1 April 2019 onwards the following has been introduced for 'long term empty' properties:

  • From 1 April 2019 the 50 percent premium increases to 100 percent for vacant properties of 2 years or more
  • From 1 April 2020 where a long term empty exceeds 5 years the premium increases to 200 percent
  • From 1 April 2021 where a long term empty exceeds 10 years the premium increases to 300 percent

Why are we changing this?

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

As the intention is to bring these properties back into occupation rather than generating additional income, the funding from premium charges will be utilised to provide resource to deliver guidance, support and signposting to aid the reduction in empty properties in Herefordshire.