Discounts and exemptions

Empty properties discount

We no longer award a discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished homes or properties undergoing (or requiring major repair work) or structural alteration.

Second homes and unoccupied furnished properties that are not used as a sole or main residence do not attract a discount.

Empty homes premium

Properties that have been unoccupied, and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more, are subject to a premium of 100% (which means double the council tax charge is payable) from 1 April 2024. If a property has been unoccupied, and substantially unfurnished for 5 years or more the premium will be increased to 200%.

When the property is occupied/furnished, periods of 6 weeks or less are disregarded for the purposes of calculating the empty homes premium.

The empty homes premium will not be charged to properties left empty for a specific purpose that have a specific statutory exemption, for example:

  • when a person goes into care
  • a property that 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 that forms part of a single property being treated by a resident of that property as part of the main dwelling, for example, annexes.

A phased increase will be introduced to the current empty homes Council Tax premium. Related to non-exempt properties empty for 10 years or more, to the maximum premium allowable of 300% respectively from the financial year of 2025/26.

Check which properties are exempt from council tax

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024