Empty homes

Council tax/empty homes review

The Council operates a proactive approach to ensure that empty homes do not remain empty unnecessarily and fall into misuse and dereliction. If you have received an empty homes letter requesting confirmation of its current status, please complete the online survey so we can update our Council tax records.

To encourage owners of empty homes to bring their properties back into use, in 2018 legislation gave councils the powers to increase the empty homes premium thresholds and reduce or remove discounts on council tax bills for homes left empty between two and five years.

From 1 April 2019 the following changes will apply:

Empty and unfurnished properties for less than a month

Until 31 March 2019, a discount of 100% is allowed for the first month after a property becomes both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished (no council tax is due). 

Find out how you could reduce your council tax bill.

With effect from 1 April 2019 - There is no first month discount after a property becomes both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, the full rate of council tax will be charged. You will still need to inform us if your property is empty, unfurnished or unoccupied.

Long term empty properties

Until 31 March 2019, where a property remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years and is not otherwise exempt or prohibited, a premium of 50% of the bill will be added.

With effect from 1 April 2019 - Where a property remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years and is not otherwise exempt or prohibited, a premium of 100% of the bill will be added.

Financial help may be available for owners of empty homes to bring the home back into use.

Uninhabitable properties

There is no discount available for properties that are uninhabitable. In some circumstances if works to the property are substantial, the banding may be affected. You will need to appeal to the Valuation Office Agency directly and council tax payments will be required until a decision is made.

Please see the Valuation Office Agency guidance.

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