Exemptions for empty homes

Exemptions for empty homes premium charges

When a home becomes unoccupied and unfurnished, it will be exempt for seven days, then a full charge will be due. When a home has been empty and unfurnished for two years, the empty homes charge will rise.

Charge increases per financial year depending on the number of years property has been empty

Financial year

Period empty

Increase in charge by

2018-19 (and earlier)

More than 2 years



More than 2 years



Less than 5 years



5 years or more


2021-22 and beyond

Less than 5 years



5 years to 10 years



10 years or more


This long term empty premium does not apply to:

  • second homes
  • annexes used as part of the main house
  • properties where the resident is asked to live elsewhere by the Ministry of Defence

In these situations, a full charge is made. If you buy a property which has been empty for two years, this extra charge will apply straightaway. It applies if you are refurbishing the property. You are not entitled to the seven-day discount. 

Second homes

A second furnished home, where no-one lives permanently, is charged at the full rate.