Unoccupied properties

There are no discounts for empty properties which are left furnished or unfurnished.

An empty property may be exempt if:

  • it was the main place of residence of someone in prison, unless it was for not paying Council Tax
  • it was previously occupied by someone living in an independent non NHS hospital, care home, or hostel where they'd received care or treatment
  • the person responsible for paying Council Tax has died and the property remains empty. This can be extended for a further 6 months once probate is granted. It will end when the property changes hands or is sold
  • you can't legally live in the property
  • the property is reserved for a minister of religion
  • the owner used to live mainly in the property but is now living primarily in another property to provide or receive care
  • a mortgagee is in possession of the property
  • the owner is the trustee of a bankrupt person
  • the property is part of a larger home and is not let separately, for example a granny annex
  • it's owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and held for housing armed forces
  • it's occupied by visiting forces from specific countries under part one of the visiting forces act

If any of the above apply you can contact us to let us know.

Second homes

A 50% discount is available in some cases where a home has to be left empty but furnished because the owner is required to live elsewhere as a condition of their employment. The property they will be moving to must be supplied by the employer. The second home must be in England, Wales or Scotland and they must be liable for the Council Tax.

For example a serving member of the armed forces who has to leave his home empty while he must live in military accommodation elsewhere in the country.

Properties owned by a charity

A property owned by a charity may not have to pay Council Tax for up to six months from the last day it was occupied.

You may be entitled to the exemption if the property:

  • is unoccupied and has been for less than 6 months
  • is owned by a charity or charitable organisation
  • was last used for the purpose of a charity or charitable organisation