A dwelling that is not anyone's sole or main place of residence may be subject to a council tax reduction.
There are a number of empty property reductions available, however these reductions are property based and are determined by strict qualifying criteria and award periods. When assessing an application for an empty property reduction, we will consider any empty property reductions which have been awarded against the property in the past.
An unfurnished and unoccupied property may be awarded an exemption. This reduction can be awarded for a maximum period of 6 months from the date the property was last occupied. This reduction applies to the council tax charge and the water and sewerage charge.
After the exemption period has elapsed, if the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished, a further discount of 50% may be awarded for 6 months. This reduction applies to the council tax charge only and NOT the water and sewerage charge.
A furnished and unoccupied property may be awarded a discount of 10% for the first 12 months that they are empty. This discount applies to the council tax charge only and NOT the water and sewerage charge.
Furnished and unfurnished properties that remain unoccupied will receive no discount for the next 12 months, unless they are actively marketed for sale or rent. If the property continues to remain unoccupied for 24 months an additional 50% premium will be applied to the council tax charge only (from 1st April 2015), not the water and sewerage charge. After 36 months unoccupied a 100% premium will apply to the council tax charge only (from 1st April 2016).
Unoccupied properties marketed for sale or rent
If unoccupied properties, either furnished or unfurnished, remain unoccupied for 12 months, then they may be eligible for a further 12 months 10% discount from the council tax charge only if they are actively marketed for sale or rent. The property must be on the market at a 'realistic market price'.
After this 10% discount has expired the property will receive no discount for the next 12 months, before being charged a 50% premium for 12 months and then, if the property still remains unoccupied, the premium will increase to 100% of the council tax charge.
Repair after sale
If the property has received the full period of exemption allowable, then a 50% repair after sale discount may be awarded for 6 months. This discount applies to the council tax charge and NOT the water and sewerage charge.
New build properties
An exemption may be awarded for a period of up to 6 months. After the 6 month period, this would be classed as an unoccupied property and would follow the process above.
If you would like to know more about empty property reductions, including award periods, please see the following information pages covering an exemption from council tax, a 10% discount on your council tax and a 50% discount on your council tax.
If you are a new owner/tenant of the property, you will also have to register for council tax purposes. You can do so by completing one of our Moving forms.
Please be aware that the Council Tax team is extremely busy at present and we are dealing with a very high volume of enquiries from customers.
Please complete the online form with as much detail as possible and we will get back to you as soon as we can. It is currently taking around 6 weeks to process enquiries. We appreciate you may be anxious to receive a response, but please bear with us and try to avoid contacting the team to ask for a progress update if possible, as this generates additional work.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope to resume normal service as soon as possible.
How we use the information you provide.