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Council Tax: discounts

Empty properties and Council Tax

Empty properties

There is no discount for second homes (furnished properties that are not used as a main residence), holiday homes, properties left vacant, or empty properties that require repair.

In some instances, dependent on why the property is empty, we can grant an exemption from having to pay Council Tax.

See a list of all of these exemptions (known as classes)

Empty Homes Premium

What is the Empty Homes Premium?

A long-term empty property premium is payable for properties continually vacant (empty and unfurnished) for over 2 years. From April 2019 the Empty Homes Premium is 100% of the standard yearly Council Tax charge for the property.

From 1 April 2020 where a property is continuously empty and unfurnished for over five years a premium of 200% of the standard council amount will be charged 

By adopting the Empty Homes Premium, we can encourage the use of empty property to address the issue of the availability of homes within the town, while at the same time protecting vital services and limiting Council Tax rises throughout the borough with the revenue raised.

The empty homes premium is based upon the property, and not property ownership. Therefore, any transfer of ownership does not affect the date the premium charge becomes due. If a property has already been empty for two years on the date you purchased it, you will be responsible to the pay the premium from your date of purchase.


There are two exceptions to this premium:

  • Where the property is left empty by a serving member of the armed forces, who is living elsewhere in accommodation provided by the Secretary of State for Defence


Where the property is the sole or main residence of a serving member of the armed forces, who is subject to a job related discount at an alternative address provided by the Secretary of State for Defence.

  • Empty annexes

For further guidance regarding these exceptions, or to apply, please e-mail [email protected].