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Council Tax and empty properties

There are various rules around paying Council Tax on properties left empty, including empty and furnished, or unfurnished. In some cases these rules aim to discourage leaving properties empty for long periods. These are as follows:

Unoccupied and furnished properties

  • a property left unoccupied but furnished due to a bereavement is exempt from the date of the persons death to six months after probate has been granted
  • a property left unoccupied and furnished by a person who has gone into a residential care home on a permanent basis will be exempt. (This will not apply to properties subsequently rented out for any period after a tenant has been in occupation.)
  • a property left unoccupied but furnished by a person who is in prison will be exempt.
  • a property left unoccupied but furnished where the owner is a student will be exempt.
  • a property which is unoccupied but furnished for any other reason will have no discount or exemption applied. 

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

  • With effect from 1 April 2018, this type of property will not receive any discount
  • a property which has been unoccupied and unfurnished for over 24 months, an empty homes premium charge will be applied. This maybe a date before you purchased the property. The premium will be 50% above the full Council Tax payable on your property and will replace the amount previously charged. 

Should you purchase a property that is already empty, you should check with the council the date the property first became empty and unfurnished to be able to determine when a premium would commence.

Further discounts and exemptions

  • Properties undergoing works may qualify for a 25% discount for up to 12 months, we will need to see proof and information about what work is being carried out.
  • Properties where occupation is prohibited by law - no time limit up to the order being lifted
  • Properties that have been repossessed - no time limit up to the time of sale
  • An unoccupied annexe
  • A property left unoccupied, which is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy

If a property you own becomes unoccupied you must notify the council.

Report a change of circumstances

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