Council Tax discounts

Unoccupied and unfurnished discounts and second homes

If you have been granted any of these discounts below that you believe you are not entitled to, you must tell us within 21 days otherwise a penalty of £70 may be charged.

To request an application form or discuss the qualifying criteria for any of these discounts please contact us:

Unoccupied Homes

In most circumstances you must pay Council Tax even when a property is unoccupied.

Properties that are undergoing major repair work or structural alteration qualify for a 50% discount for up to 12 months.

Please note this reduction applies to the property, not to an individual household. This means that if the property has been empty or a reduction has been awarded on the property previously, the level and duration of the reduction you are entitled to may be affected.

Long term empty premium

Properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for two years or more will attract an additional 100% premium on the council tax charge. The premium will increase if the property remains empty after five years to 200% of the council tax charge.

From 1 April 2021 any property having been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than ten years will attract a 300% premium.

Under the law there are two classes of dwellings which are exempt from the premium. These are:

  • a dwelling which would otherwise be the sole or main residence of a member of the armed services , who is absent from the property as a result of such service
  • a dwelling, which forms part of a single property that is being treated by a resident of that property as part of the main dwelling

This measure has been brought in to discourage people from leaving properties unoccupied and unfurnished.

If your property is derelict

Your property’s only considered derelict if it is not possible to live in it, for example because it has been damaged, by weather or rot, and would need major structural works to make it ‘wind and watertight’ again.

You can challenge your council tax band if you think a derelict property should be removed from the valuation list.  Further details can be found here:

Second homes

A property is unoccupied for Council Tax purposes if it is no one’s sole or main residence. This includes properties which are furnished, such as second homes.

Full Council Tax is payable where a property is unoccupied but furnished.

Second home discount

Under certain circumstances a second home will be entitled to a 50% discount, where the Council Tax payer is unable to live in their second home due to a specified condition in their contract of employment, which stipulates that they must reside in another property.

Examples of such circumstances would be a publican who was required to live above his licensed premises, a residential school caretaker, a practising reverend living within his diocese or a member of the forces who have to live in armed forces accommodation.

To qualify both properties must be furnished, situated within England, Wales, or Scotland and the applicant must be responsible for the Council Tax payment on each dwelling (Ministry of Defence accommodation and properties provided to a minister of religion for the performance of their duties are included within this payment definition).

Caravans and moorings

Unoccupied pitches (for caravans) and moorings (for boats) will also qualify for a 50% discount.

Family annexes

A 50% council tax reduction, on top of any other discount, applies if:

  • The annexe forms part of a single property, which includes at least one other dwelling and is being used by a resident of that other dwelling, or is the sole or main residence of a relative of the person who's liable to pay council tax for that other dwelling.

How to apply

To request an application form or discuss the qualifying criteria for any of the above discounts please contact us:

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