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. FAQs How long does a property have to be empty before I 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. I have bought a property which has been empty for more than two years and carrying out work to make it habitable. Do I have to pay the additional charge? We may waive the additional charge for up to 12 months while you are carrying out the work but you will need to apply for this with a clear schedule of works and timescales for completion. Is there any help available to help me bring the property back into a habitable state? The Council may be able to provide an interest free loan of up to £10,000 to assist with any repairs that are needed to bring the house up to an acceptable living standard. Officers will be available to visit you to assess the repairs and agree what help we can provide. A condition of the loan is that the property must be occupied for the repayment period, which is up to five years, and must not be left unoccupied within that period for more than 3 months at any time. If you agreed to lease the property to the Council for the 5 year period, the Council can guarantee income (even if the property becomes temporarily vacant) and can assist in managing the property. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org Why have you 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 will any additional revenue 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.