Vacant property

Prior to April 2013, empty and unfurnished properties could receive a 6 month exemption under Exempt Class C. This exemption was abolished from council tax legislation and new regulations introduced that give local authorities the discretion for a discount to be awarded in respect of empty and unfurnished dwellings.

We have a policy to allow a discount of 100% for a maximum duration of 28 days in respect of dwellings that are left empty and substantially unfurnished. When considering the discount, the criteria surrounding the grant of the original Class C Exemption were retained which are as follows:

  • The start date of the discount is the date on which the circumstances first apply. Change of liable party does not trigger a reset of the discount start date.
  • Periods of less than six weeks of occupation are ignored when determining the start date of any future discount entitlement.

Where the 28 day discount period has elapsed, 100% of the council tax liability becomes payable.

Long-term empty and unfurnished property

Where a dwelling has been left empty and unfurnished for a substantial period, it will become liable to an empty property premium as follows:

Period empty and unfurnished   Council tax premium applicable
> 2 Years    100%
> 5 Years 200%
> 10 Years   300%

If you are in receipt of a council tax bill that itemises your property as empty and unfurnished, it is important that you notify us should this no longer be the case. This is something that is frequently overlooked as once the 28 day discount period has elapsed the charge applicable is the same rate as an occupied property, so tax payers often do not notify us that their circumstances have changed. Should we be unaware that a property has become occupied when it is listed as empty and unfurnished then it will result in the premium being automatically applied to the account after 2 years.

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