Find out if your property is eligible

We no longer grant discounts for empty properties that are:

  • empty and unfurnished
  • empty and furnished
  • second homes that are non-job related
  • uninhabitable properties

There are some certain empty or unoccupied properties that may be entitled to an exemption.

Uninhabitable properties or under structural repair

If a property is in a poor state of repair or undergoing substantial refurbishment work to bring it into a habitable state, there is no discount available unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes the property from the Council Tax list.

The VOA will only do this if the property is derelict and uninhabitable, if the property is being rebuilt or structurally altered and the work will be substantial.

Council Tax premium on empty homes

An additional amount of Council Tax known as a Long-Term Empty Premium (LTEP) is charged on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than two years.

Since 1 April 2013, this charge was an extra 50 per cent in addition to the full Council Tax charge. From 1 April 2019, the extra charge increased to 100 per cent, meaning you will be liable for 200 per cent of the full Council Tax charge for the property.

As this premium applies to the property, a change in ownership or tenancy will not affect the premium.

The premium can only be removed by bringing your property back into use.

Changes from 1 April 2020

From 1 April 2020, the premium rate will change and be 100 per cent for properties that are empty and unfurnished for more than two years but less than five years.

Properties left empty and unfurnished for more than five years, the premium will be 200 per cent extra.

Changes from 1 April 2021

From 1 April 2021, the premium rate will change and be 100 per cent for properties that are empty and unfurnished for more than two years but less than five years.

Properties left empty and unfurnished for more than five years but less than ten years, the premium will be 200 per cent extra.

Properties left empty and unfurnished for more than ten years, the premium will be 300 per cent extra.

Empty property premium rates

Empty period 2013 to 2018

2019

2020 2021
2 to 5 years  50% 100% 100% 100%
5 to 10 years  50% 100% 200% 200%
10 years +     200% 300%

Properties not affected

There are 2 types of property that are not affected by the premium: 

  • Property which is left empty by a member of the armed services, who is away as a result of their service and
  • Part of a building which forms a single property – for example, an annexe.

Ending the premium charge

To end the premium charge, you must bring the property back into use.