Empty Homes - Council Tax Reduction

If there is no one living in your property, or if it is undergoing major structural repair, you may be able to receive a discount or exemption from paying Council Tax.

If your property has been empty and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more (even if you have not owned it for that long), you may be subject to a premium of an additional 300% charge added on to your Council Tax bill.

Does my property qualify?

Reason why the property is empty Amount and period of discount or exemption
Substantially unfurnished Up to 1 month 100% discount.  All discount periods start from the date the furniture is removed from the property rather than from the date ownership or council tax liability changes.
Owned by a registered charity

Up to six months exemption. This is called a Class B Exemption - please use the button below to apply.

Apply for a Class B Exemption

The occupier is in prison Exempt until the person is released from prison.
The occupiers are receiving personal care in a hospital or a care/nursing home Exempt while the person receiving care is away from the property (provided that it is not just a temporary absence, in which case Council Tax would still be payable).
Someone who has moved to provide care to another person Exempt while the person providing personal care is away from the property and providing that personal care.
Someone has passed away, the property is unoccupied and awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted If someone who paid Council Tax for a property has passed away and the property is now unoccupied it will be exempt. This exemption will last until probate has been granted and then for a maximum of 6 months afterwards. The exemption will end earlier if the dwelling is sold, transferred to a new owner/beneficiary, or let.
The property has been repossessed and is owned by the mortgage company Exempt until the property is sold or otherwise disposed of by the mortgage company.
The law has said it must not be lived in Exempt until the legal restriction is lifted. Please note, the restriction must be on the occupation of the property itself, rather than on an individual or travel to the property.
Waiting to be lived in by a Minister of Religion Exempt until the Minister occupies the property.
The occupier(s) are students who live elsewhere to carry out their course Exempt while the students are within the period of their course.
Cannot be let separately because there is a planning restriction on its occupation Exempt while the planning restriction remains in force.
Undergoing structural alterations or major repairs and uninhabitable as a result Up to 12 months 50% discount.
Newly built dwellings Up to 1 month 100% discount can be awarded before a full charge for an unoccupied property will become due.
Any exemption/ discount start date will be the date notified to you in a Completion Notice issued by the Council, stating the date for Council Tax purposes that the property will be deemed to be complete.
Second homes No discount.
The owner has to live elsewhere as part of the terms of their employment

A discount of 50%.  There are many conditions on this reduction. Brief requirements are: The Council Tax liability for both properties must be in your name and they must both be in England, Scotland and Wales.  Your contract of employment must require you to live in the exact property that you are paying Council Tax upon. 
Service personnel may still qualify for a reduction on a property if:

  • their work-related property is in England, Scotland or Wales and
  • the MOD are responsible for Council Tax contributions on the work-related property. 

Please contact the Council for more information.   

Property empty and unfurnished for 1 year or greater

A premium of an additional 50% will be charged up to 31 March 2021. 

  • From 1 April 2024, where the property has been empty and unfurnished for 1 year or more, the premium will rise to 100% (this was 2 years or more prior to 1 April 2024). 
  • Where on 1 April 2021, the property has been empty and unfurnished for 5 years or more, the premium will rise to 200%. 
  • Where on 1 April 2021, the property has been empty for 10 years or more, the premium will rise to 300%. 

This premium is charged once the property has been empty for one year irrespective of changes of ownership during that time.  Please contact the Council for more details and whether the premium will apply to you.

How do I apply?

If you think your property may qualify for a discount or exemption, please contact the Council Tax Team using the button below.

Please select 'I need to ask the Council Tax team about something not covered in the options above.'

Contact the Council Tax Team