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Charges for empty properties

You will usually have to pay Council Tax on an empty home, but local Councils have the option to set the level of discount on certain types of property.

We carried out a consultation with residents and property owners to decide which discounts to change.

Vacant properties

These are properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished. A full charge is payable on these empty and unfurnished homes. This includes properties which have 'void' periods between tenants. A ‘void’ period is the time between the old tenant moving out and the new tenant moving in.

Second homes

These properties will be charged at the full rate.

Properties undergoing structural alteration

These properties may be eligible for a discount of 100% for a maximum of 12 months. Once a property becomes classed as a long-term empty the discount can no longer be awarded and any discount already awarded will end. To find out more, and to apply, please read our check if you are eligible for a discounts page.

Council Tax premium on long-term empty properties

You will be charged an extra amount of Council Tax (a ‘premium’) if your home has been vacant (unoccupied and unfurnished) for 2 years or more. Please note that when we are identifying these long term empty properties, any occupation or furnishing of a property for a period of less than 6 weeks will not be taken into account.

The additional charge shown in the below table will be added to your Council Tax bill:

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Effective Date

Empty Period

Additional Charge

1 April 2019

2 years


1 April 2020

5 years


1 April 2021

10 years


You will not have to pay the empty home premium if either:

  • the empty property is an annex which is being used as part of the main home
  • you’re in the armed forces and you must move into armed forces accommodation as part of your work

If you think you are exempt, please complete our contact us form.

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