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In most cases, you must still pay Council Tax if your property is empty. If the property is empty for a specific reason, there are some exceptions.

Empty property Council Tax exemptions

Some properties may be exempt from Council Tax, as long as the circumstance remains the same. This might be properties that are:

  • left empty as residents are in a hospital or care home
  • left empty as residents in prison
  • left empty by someone receiving care
  • left empty by someone providing care
  • repossessed.

Empty property after a death

Properties left empty after someone has died are exempt from Council Tax until probate is granted.

This exemption can continue for up to six months after probate is granted, as long as the property has not been sold, rented out or someone else has moved in.

Empty home after moving

If you are moving home and leaving your previous property empty, please report this to us. When reporting this change, we can also register you for Council Tax at your new address. If you still own the property and are leaving it empty you will still need to pay council tax until someone moves in or the property is sold.

Empty and full Council Tax due

Full Council Tax is payable on properties that are

  • empty and furnished, including second homes, holiday homes and furnished let properties empty between tenants,
  • empty, unfurnished and uninhabitable, including properties being renovated,
  • empty and unfurnished for up to 2 years.

Empty and unfurnished properties for more than 2 years

If the property remains empty and unfurnished for more than two years, a higher Council Tax rate will be charged.

The Empty Property Premium is:

  • double the full Council Tax charge for properties empty between 2 and 5 years
  • 3 times the full Council Tax charge for properties empty between 5 and 10 years
  • 4 times the full Council Tax charge for properties empty for more than 10 years.

If you buy or rent a property that is empty and unfurnished, this will mean the previous owner or landlord has already been granted some or all the two year allowance.

The two year period starts from when the property became empty, not from when the ownership changed. For example; if you buy a property that's been empty and unoccupied for 18 months, only 6 months will remain before the Empty Property Premium is charged.