Council Tax for empty properties and empty homes premium

The Council Tax payable on an empty (unoccupied) property will depend on the condition of the property.

In certain specific circumstances, an unoccupied property may be exempt from paying Council Tax.

If you believe you qualify for any Council Tax discount, contact us by phone on 01590 646111 or by email to

Types of empty properties

Empty properties that are substantially unfurnished 

These are entitled to a 100% discount for one month. This discount is granted from the date the property first became unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, which may not be the date of purchase or when a landlord becomes liable for Council Tax.

Where a tenant vacates a property before their tenancy ends, although they are liable for Council Tax until their tenancy end date, they will be entitled to claim this discount if the property is substantially unfurnished. This means that after the tenancy has ended and the owner or landlord becomes liable for Council Tax, they will be entitled to claim a discount, but only for the remainder of the one month period.

Empty and substantially unfurnished properties needing major repairs

Empty and substantially unfurnished properties that need or are undergoing major repairs or structural alterations are entitled to a 50% discount for up to 12 months.

Alterations such as replacing a kitchen or bathroom, or installing a new boiler or windows, would not be considered major repairs. We would normally visit the property before granting the discount.

Empty properties that are furnished

These are commonly known as second homes or holiday homes, and are not entitled to a discount.

Empty homes premium

We are committed to reducing the number of empty properties. Properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than two years are charged a premium of 100% on top of the full Council Tax.

Where a property has been empty and unfurnished for more than five years, a premium of 150% applies on top of the full Council Tax.

There are exemptions for empty annexes or where a property is left empty by service personnel.

Where the owner is genuinely taking steps to sell or let the property, or where there are exceptional circumstances beyond the owner's control, there is discretion to apply a temporary exemption to charging an empty homes premium. We will consider these on a case by case basis.

We will decide the length of time for which an exemption will apply, based on the information available.

To apply for an exemption from the premium, call us on 01590 646111 or email us at

Find out more about other Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

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