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Empty Properties

If you own an empty property, there are a number of different council tax regulations that will apply to your property.

Unoccupied and unfurnished property

A full exemption is available for a maximum of one month. This exemption is applied to the property itself and can only be applied once, regardless of any change in ownership. This means that if you become the new owner of an empty property, you will only be entitled to the one month exemption if the previous owner has not already claimed it. 

Uninhabitable property

There is no discount for uninhabitable properties. However, if the property is unoccupied and unfurnished as a result of its condition, you will qualify for the exemption detailed above.

Second homes

Second homes that are furnished, but unoccupied are liable for full Council Tax.

Long term empty

Property that is both unfurnished and unoccupied beyond the one month exemption is subject to full council tax rates. If the property has been consistently empty for more than two years, a 50 per cent levy will be added. 

If this levy is shown on your council tax bill and you believe your property does not fit this description, please contact us by email immediately

Review of long term empty properties

In support of the government's initiative to tackle the shortfall in national housing, the council is reviewing all long term empty properties. Please update the property records for your address. 

Full exemption

Some empty properties are exempt beyond the one month as described above. These are:

  • owned by a body established for charitable purposes only (exempt for up to six months)
  • left empty by someone who has gone into prison
  • left empty by someone receiving personal care in a hospital or a home elsewhere; or someone who has moved in order to provide personal care to another person
  • left empty by students
  • waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
  • repossessed by the mortgage lender
  • the responsibility of a bankrupt's trustee
  • empty because their occupation is forbidden by law
  • waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • dwellings or homes annexed to another dwelling that cannot be let separately
  • forces barrack and married quarters - their occupants will contribute to the cost of local services through a special arrangement.