Changes to Council Tax on Long Term Empty Properties

An additional 50% premium on Council Tax is currently applied to properties that have been empty for two years or more. However, according to our figures, during August 2019, there were still over 200 properties that had been stood empty for two years or more.

In support of our policy to bring empty properties back in to use, from 1 April 2020 the charge on empty homes will be increasing to those shown in the table below:

Effective FromAmount of Council Tax chargedDetails

1 April 2020

200%

Empty for two years but less than five years

1 April 2020

300%

Five years or more

1 April 2021

200%

Empty for two years but less than five years

1 April 2021

300%

Between five and ten years

1 April 2021

400%

Ten years or more

All owners currently being charged the premium have been written to in advance of the increased charge.

In order to assist property owners, the Council has put together a number of questions and answers which may assist with any queries you have about the change.

When you have to start paying the premium

You only start having to pay additional Council Tax after your property has been empty for more than two years.

Buying an empty property

If you have bought a property which has been empty for more than two years and are carrying out work to make it habitable, you will need to pay the additional charge.

Why we have decided to increase the Council Tax due on empty property

The primary reason is to reduce the number of empty properties in the Borough. It is expected these changes will act as an incentive for owners to bring domestic properties back into occupation.

What any additional revenue will be used for

The additional revenue will support owners who are undertaking major repair work to bring properties back into occupation. It may also be used to support essential council services.