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Council Tax charges for empty properties

Council Tax is charged on properties that are unoccupied, unfurnished or undergoing major works.
Unoccupied properties, uninhabitable properties undergoing repair and newly constructed properties do not receive any Council Tax discount.
A property is unoccupied when it is nobody's sole or main home (place of residence).
Responding to the national housing shortage, the government is encouraging owners of empty homes to make their properties available for use. To incentivise this, the longer a property remains empty, the higher the Council Tax is.
This affects properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished and have been for more than two years. The costs are shown in the table below.

Percentage of Council Tax to be paid for unoccupied properties
Length of time empty1 April   2013 - 31 March 2019From 
1 April   2019
1 April   2020 
1 April   2021
0 - 24 months 100% charge 100% charge 100% charge 100% charge 
Over 2 years 150% charge 200% charge 200% charge 200% charge
Over 5 years 150% charge 200% charge 300% charge 300% charge
Over 10 years 150% charge 200% charge 300% charge 400% charge

New properties

For newly constructed properties, or properties created due to structural alterations, no discounts are available if the property remains unoccupied and unfurnished. Council Tax must be paid from the completion date.

We'll send you a notice stating the date from which we consider the property should be treated as substantially completed.
This change may cause you some financial pressures, and we may be able to assist you with advice and guidance about returning your property to use. We can advise on selling, bringing it up to a habitable standard to occupy yourself, or putting it onto the rental market.

Empty properties review

As part of the government’s initiative to tackle the shortfall in national housing, we regularly review the long-term empty properties in our area.