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Council Tax - Empty Homes

The Government announced that the way that some empty properties and second homes are treated for Council Tax purposes would change.

Until the 1 April 2013, a property that was empty and unfurnished was treated as exempt from Council Tax for a period of up to 6 months. Also, up to the 1 April 2013 a property that was empty and needed structural work to make it habitable was also treated as exempt from Council Tax for a period of 12 months.

The Government has changed the law so that these types of property are no longer exempt and that Councils can charge full Council Tax on these properties. The Council,  following consultation, has decided to charge full Council Tax on these types of empty properties from the 1 April 2013.

Also, if a property has been empty for more than two years and is substantially unfurnished, the law has been changed so that the Council can charge a "premium" of an extra 50% to the normal charge for an empty property. The Council is applying this additional 50% charge from the 1 April 2013 following consultation.

With effect from 1 April 2019 an empty property over 2 years will be charged an additional premium (additional council tax) of 100% of the standard tax due, previously 50% premium from 1 April 2013.  This will continue until such time as the property is no longer unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.  Unless the property is reoccupied the current premium of 50% will apply up to 31 March 2019.

To clarify further with regards to additional changes to long term empty homes;

  • From April 2019 onwards to charge a 100% premium.
  • From April 2020 onwards to increase the premium to 200% for properties that have been empty for more than 5 years.
  • From April 2021 onwards to increase the premium to 300% for properties that have been empty for more than 10 years.

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