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Find out if your property is eligible

You must pay council tax on a property if it is:

  • empty and unfurnished
  • empty and furnished
  • a second home that is not job related
  • uninhabitable

Some empty or unoccupied properties 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. You should contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), as they will make the decision whether the property should be deleted 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. There is a helpful guide available on the VOA website.

What you consider to be uninhabitable may differ to that specified by the VOA. If the VOA agrees to delete the property from the Council Tax list, it may result in a higher Council Tax band once the works have been completed and it is brought back into the listing.

Council tax premium on empty homes

If you have a property that is empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more, you will be charged a Long-Term Empty Premium (LTEP) charge.

As this premium applies to the property, changing the ownership or tenancy will not affect the premium.

Empty property premium rates

The empty property premium rates for 2024/2025 are:

  • 100% for empty properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 to 5 years
  • 200% for empty properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for 5 to 10 years
  • 300% for empty properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 10 years

Second homes

If you have a second home, you will be charged a 100% levy on your council tax from 1 April 2025.

A second home is:

  • a furnished property where no one lives, or the owner has a main home elsewhere
  • a dwelling which is not a person's sole or main home and is substantially furnished
  • a home that is not used as someone’s primary residence but is occupied for at least 25 days in a year 

If you sell the property or make it your main residence, contact us.

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
  • 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.