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Council Tax and empty properties

There are various rules around paying Council Tax on properties left empty.


A property left unoccupied:

  • due to a bereavement is usually exempt from the date of the persons death to six months after probate has been granted
  • by a person who has gone into a residential care home on a permanent basis is exempt
  • by a person who has gone to receive personal care elsewhere is usually exempt
  • by a person who is in prison is usually exempt
  • where the owner is a student is usually exempt
  • which is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy is exempt

A property:

  • where occupation is prohibited by law is exempt - no time limit up to the order being lifted
  • that has been repossessed is exempt - no time limit up to date of sale or re-occupation
  • that is an unoccupied annexe is exempt


Properties that are uninhabitable and require or are undergoing works may qualify for a 25% discount for up to 12 months, you will need to provide proof and information about what work is being carried out.

A property which is unoccupied but furnished for any other reason will have no discount or exemption applied. 

Long term empty premium

For a property which has been unoccupied and unfurnished for over 24 months, an empty homes premium charge will be applied in addition to the standard Council Tax charge. A premium of 100% will be applied if the property has been empty for between two and five years; a premium of 200% will be applied if the property has been empty for over five years.

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

If a property you own becomes unoccupied you must notify us.

Report a change of circumstances


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