If your property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, you might be entitled to a 100 percent discount for up to two months.
This discount is applied to the property and the date it became unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. The discount does not start again if the property changes hands. If a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for longer than one month prior to 1 April 2016, a full charge becomes payable.
The discount period has been changed with effect from 1 April 2016. If a property becomes unoccupied and substantially unfurnished after 1 April 2016, the discount will apply for a maximum of up to two months.
Long Term Empty Properties
There is no discount due. Properties left unoccupied and unfurnished for two years or more, will be charged a Long Term Empty Dwellings Premium; meaning an extra charge of 50 percent will be added to the Council Tax bill. The amount payable will be 150 percent of the usual Council Tax charge.
If your property is in a good state of repair, then letting may be an option? For information about being a landlord please see GOV.UK selecting Housing and local services.
If your property needs major repairs or is undergoing structural alterations to make it habitable, you might be entitled to a 25 percent uninhabitable discount for up to 12 months. Please read the guidance notes [46kb], if you think you will qualify, please return the application form [53kb] and supporting evidence.
Second Homes/Furnished Properties
If your property is furnished and unoccupied or used as your second home or holiday home, a ten percent discount is available. If your second home is a pitch occupied by a caravan or a mooring occupied by a boat you will qualify for a 50 percent discount.
Job Related Discount
If you have left your home in order to live in another property as a condition of your job, you may get a 50 percent discount. The property you have left must be furnished and the address you have moved to must be specified in your contract of employment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why am I paying for an empty property - I am not using any of the services?
A. Council Tax is a means of raising public finance, which helps pay for local services, as well as contributing towards police and fire services. Council Tax is not a charge for specific services received; it applies to all domestic properties, whether occupied or unoccupied.
Q. I am being billed for my empty property, but it is up for sale. Is there any further reduction due?
A. There is no extra allowance made for a property that is up for sale.