Charges for empty properties and second homes

Information about charges for empty properties and second homes

Empty property charges

If your property remains empty and substantially unfurnished for more than one year, a premium will be added to your annual Council Tax bill.

A substantially unfurnished property is defined as one that does not contain enough furniture or white goods to allow someone to comfortably live in it e.g. beds, sofas, tables, fridge, freezer, cooker.

The charges from 1 April 2024 are:

How long the property is empty Council Tax charge
More than one year 100% premium (twice the standard rate)
After five years 200% premium (three times the standard rate)
After 10 years 300% premium (four times the standard rate)

Do you want help to bring your property back into use? Our empty homes project has a wide range of information and advice on how you can bring empty properties back into use.

It is important you tell us if you furnish your property

Report a home is no longer unfurnished

Empty property discount

Empty, unfurnished properties are eligible for a discount for up to three months. After this period the full amount of Council Tax becomes payable.

Apply for an empty property Council Tax discount 

Empty property exemption

Some empty properties may be exempt from Council Tax or exempt for up to six months if one of the following apply:

  • owned by a charity (exempt for up to six months)
  • left empty by someone who is now in prison
  • left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or a home
  • repossessed properties (in possession of the mortgage company)
  • waiting for probate or letters of administration to be granted (and for up to six months after)
  • the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
  • empty because the law has said it must not be lived in
  • waiting to be lived in by a minister of religion
  • left empty by students who live elsewhere to carry out their course
  • unable to be let separately because they are part of a main property or there is a planning restriction

Contact us to claim a Council Tax empty property exemption  

Second homes charges

From 1 April 2025 properties that are not a main residence and are substantially furnished will be charged at 100% premium (twice the standard rate).