Council Tax empty property discount consultation

In April 2013, the Government gave local authorities the power to determine the level of empty property discounts in dwellings class B, C and D (section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act).

Bury Council has continued to offer the following Council Tax discounts:

  • 100% in the first month a property is empty and unfurnished
  • 25% discount following the 1st month, which extends up to 2 years, for empty and unfurnished properties
  • 25% discount following the 1st month, for empty and furnished properties, or second homes
  • 50% discount for properties undergoing major renovation works, for a periods of up to 1 year

Proposed changes to Council Tax discounts on empty homes

The Council is now proposing to increase the Council Tax charged for these types of empty properties to 100% from 1 April 2022.

These proposals do not affect empty properties that are exempt from Council Tax due to the special circumstances of the owner. This could be because the owner has gone to live elsewhere to receive care, or provide care to someone else, or the property is left empty due to service in the Armed Forces, or where the owner has died and probate is yet to be granted. These proposals also do not affect properties which are charged an empty property premium after they have been empty for more than 2 years.

Based on the current number of empty properties in the borough these proposals would affect:

  • 240 second homes
  • 1454 properties empty for up to 2 years
  • 147 properties undertaking major works

The proposed increase in Council Tax charges is intended to incentivise owners of empty domestic properties to bring them back into use.

The council has a strategy of bringing empty homes back in to use at the earliest opportunity. The return of empty properties back in to our communities will help with the demand for homes as well as playing a part in reducing pressure on existing housing stock

How to share your views

You can respond to the consultation by completing the survey form below.

The consultation is open from 22 November 2021 to 3 January 2022.

Complete a Council Tax empty property discount consultation form