Empty domestic property charges

Some properties may receive a statutory exemption or a local discount whilst standing empty.

Where an empty property does not qualify for such an exemption or discount, certain charges will apply, depending on the individual circumstances:

  • once a property becomes unoccupied and unfurnished, it will qualify for a 100% discount up to a maximum 14-day period. The discount may be claimed by the person entitled to possession of the dwelling and does not distinguish between landlord and tenant. For example, if the property is tenanted and the tenant vacates before their official tenancy end date, then they are entitled to claim this discount. Should the property remain vacant at the end of the 14-day period, then a 100% charge will be levied against the person entitled to possession. This is a property related discount which means:
    • you cannot apply for a further discount unless the property is occupied or furnished for 42 or more consecutive days).
    • a change of ‘owner’ does not give rise to a further 14-day discount period.
  • unoccupied but furnished properties will attract a 100% charge
  • second homes will be subject to 100% council tax charge
  • properties standing empty for more than two years may be subject to a premium charge

Some properties will attract a 50% charge whilst standing empty, This will apply to dwellings that are:

  • furnished but unoccupied because the owner is liable for council tax elsewhere in job-related accommodation (certain conditions apply)
  • furnished but unoccupied by service personnel resident in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence in England or Wales
  • caravans or houseboats
  • left unoccupied by members of the clergy who are required to live in accommodation provided by the church to perform their duties