Council Tax Empty Properties

Sometimes you may not have to pay any council tax for an empty property. Below are the exemptions that may apply depending on the circumstances why the property is unoccupied. 

Exemptions available for unoccupied properties

  • B - property owned by a charity that is unoccupied for less than 6 months
  • D - property left unoccupied by someone who has gone to prison
  • E - property left unoccupied by someone who has moved into a hospital or care home
  • F - a property left unoccupied because the former owner has died. The exemption lasts for up to six months after probate has been granted and providing that the property has not been passed to beneficiaries, sold or re-let before that time
  • G - property which is empty because occupation is forbidden by law
  • H - an unoccupied property waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion
  • I - property unoccupied by someone who lives elsewhere to receive personal care
  • J - property left unoccupied by someone who has moved out to care for another person
  • K - property left unoccupied by a student and was last occupied by that student
  • L - repossessed property
  • Q - property left unoccupied by a bankrupt individual
  • R - a vacant caravan pitch or boat mooring
  • T - unoccupied property forming part of another property (annex) which cannot be let separately

Where an exemption has been granted it will be shown on your bill. 

Empty properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished

If your property is unoccupied and unfurnished, you will have to pay a minimum 100% charge (unless an unoccupied exemption applies).

From 1 April 2024:

Property status Charges
Properties empty (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) for up to 1 year 0% discount (full charge)
Furnished empty properties and second homes 0% discount (full charge)
Properties empty (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) for 1-5 years 200% charge (includes 100% empty property premium)
Properties empty (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) for 5-10 years 300% charge (includes 200% empty property premium)
Properties empty (unoccupied and substantially  unfurnished) for more than 10 years 400% charge (includes 300% empty property premium)


For further information, our Empty Properties Policy can be found here.

The period a property is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished from, will be counted from the first date the furniture has been removed, regardless if there has been a change in ownership or tenancy. Furthermore any periods of occupation of six weeks or less will be disregarded when considering how long a property has been empty.

Monitoring unoccupied empty properties

We will periodically review empty properties to ensure our records are correct, this may be done by a review letter or a visit to the property. 

Visit our change of address page if you are a landlord or owner of an empty property and you have sold or rented your property.  

Visit our Empty homes page  if you would like to know more on what options there are for owners of empty properties. 

Second homes 

A ‘second home’ is a property which is not the ‘sole or main residence’ of any individual for council tax purposes. This may include a ‘holiday home’ or may also include a property which the owner does regularly occupy, but a different property is defined as their ‘sole or main residence’.

Property status Discount

Second homes where continuous occupancy for 28 days or more is prohibited

Second homes where continuous occupancy for 28 days or more is not prohibited 

0% discount (full charge)
Job related dwellings 50% discount


Job-related accommodation 

Those with job-related second homes provided by an employer for reasons of employment may be eligible for a 50% discount if certain conditions apply:

  • the duties of the job make it necessary for them to live there, for example a publican who owns their own home but whose contract states they must live in the pub they run
  • the accommodation is provided for the better performance of the duties of the employment. and it is usual for employers to provide accommodation, for example a caretaker or church minister
  • there is a threat to the employee’s security, or special security arrangements are in force and the employee resides in the dwelling as part of those arrangements

Council tax online account

Create/sign in to your online council tax account here.