Unoccupied property

Second Homes

For Council Tax purposes a property is a second home if it is not occupied as a main residence and it is substantially furnished. Second homes are usually charged full council tax.

If you have a second home because you have had to move elsewhere as a condition of your employment you may be entitled to a 50% second home discount

Vacant Property (empty and unfurnished)

Different rates of Council Tax will apply depending on how long the property has been continuously vacant. Please note that the period below relate to the amount of time that the property has been vacant and are not affected by a change of ownership or liable party.

For up to 1 month            -              0% charge

For 2-6 months                 -              50% charge

For 6 months to 2 years -              100% (full) charge

For more than 2 years    -              100% additional premium – (2x council tax)

For more than 5 years    -              200% additional premium (3x council tax)

For more than 10 years -               300% additional premium (4x council tax)


In certain circumstances we will consider reducing or removing the additional premiums, for example:

  • Where there is a genuine attempt to sell and/or let the property
  • Where there is a new owner, the property needs major repairs, and the major repairs discount has already been applied to the property.
  • Where there are exceptional legal or technical issues which prevent the owner selling or letting the property
  • Where the property has remained empty for over two years due to exceptional circumstances beyond control of the owner or liable party.
  • Where the owner or liable party would face genuine financial hardship of if the premium was applied

If you wish to apply for a reduction based on the above circumstances please complete the application form below

Application for an Exception to the Council Tax Premium

Uninhabitable Property

Property which is undergoing or requires major repair and/or structural alteration in order to render it habitable can claim a discount for 50% for up to 12 months. 

Property which is Exempt for Council Tax when Unoccupied

the person who last lived there is now in a hospital, nursing home or residential care

the property is left empty by people receiving care elsewhere

the liable person left in  order to provide personal care elsewhere

the liable person is now in prison

the liable person is deceased (for 6 months from the date of death or granting of probate)

the property has been repossessed

the property is unoccupied awaiting religious occupation

where occupation of the property is prohibited by law

an unoccupied pitch or mooring

the property is an annex i.e. granny flat

the property is the responsibility of a charity and was last used for charitable purposes (up to 6 months)

To apply for any of these please contact us or follow the links to our online forms.

Please note that under schedule 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, a penalty of £70.00 may be added to your council tax account if you

  • knowingly supply information which is inaccurate
  • fail to advise within 21 days that you should no longer be entitled to a discount