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Empty properties

Information on Council Tax charges for properties that are empty or uninhabitable

Empty and unfurnished properties

Empty and unfurnished properties are charged full Council Tax from the day they become unoccupied. Although a discount can't be applied, you still need to inform us if your property becomes empty.

There is an additional Council Tax charge for properties that remain empty for an extended amount of time. This is known as the levy charge (sometimes called a premium). From 1 April 2024 the rules for long term empty and unfurnished properties are changing:

  • Longer than one year, the charge will be 200% (previously two years)
  • Longer than five years, the charge will be 300%
  • Longer than ten years, the charge will be 400% (from 1 April 2021)

There are some circumstances where an exemption will apply if a property is empty. More information can be found on our properties exempt from Council Tax page.

Furnished properties which are not someone's main residence

If your property is unoccupied but furniture remains, we'll charge full Council Tax. However, this will be recorded as a second home rather than an empty and unfurnished property.

Uninhabitable discounts

Your property may qualify for a 25% discount for up to a maximum of 12 months if it meets the following criteria:

  1. it's unoccupied and unfurnished, and
  2. it's not habitable and requires major repairs to make it habitable, or
  3. is having major structural work being done

What is uninhabitable?

Reasons a property may be uninhabitable could include:

  • major roof work
  • subsidence/major underpinning
  • major damage caused by fire or flood
  • large extension/conversion preventing the property from being lived in
  • removal/rebuilding of internal supporting walls or external walls

What isn't uninhabitable?

We do not class a property as uninhabitable if:

  • you're putting in a new kitchen or bathroom
  • you're doing a basic refurbishment

Works which may qualify

Works which will not qualify individually, but may as a whole are:

  • total rewire
  • full re-plumbing
  • replacing plaster board and ceilings
  • replacing floorboards


Please provide proof of the works taking place. Evidence includes:

  • written quotes from your builder
  • surveyors reports
  • insurance quotes
  • photos

A Council Visiting Officer may need to inspect the property.

Apply for a discount or exemption

To apply for a discount or exemption you'll need:

  • your Council Tax account number (you can find this on your bill)
  • the date the works started, or you removed your furniture
  • evidence of the work (if applicable)

Apply for a discount

After you've completed the form you'll be advised if the property is eligible for a discount or exemption. If so, you'll receive a revised bill. The bill will show:

  • if a discount or exemption has been applied, and from what date
  • your new payment instalments (if any)


If you disagree with our decision, please write to us to explain why. If you still disagree with our response, you can appeal to a Valuation Tribunal.

You should continue to pay your original bill while your appeal is outstanding.