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Empty homes

Empty homes premium

When a home has been empty and unfurnished for two years, an extra premium is paid on top of the council tax. The amount of the premium increases, the longer the property is empty and unfurnished. The amount of the premium will depend on when the property first became empty and unoccupied.

The empty homes 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 circumstances, a full charge is due. If you buy a property which has been empty for two years, this premium will apply straightaway. It will apply until you occupy the property. It will continue to apply if you are refurbishing the property before you or a tenant move in. 

The table below sets out the premium that we will add to your council tax bill:

Period Empty

Charge

0 to 7 days

Exempt (100% discount)

7 days to 2 years

Full charge

2 years to 5 years

Full charge + 100% Levy (double)

5 years to 10 Years

Full charge + 200% Levy (triple)

Over 10 years

Full charge + 300% Levy (quadruple)


Changes from 1 April 2025

Empty Homes Premium

From 1 April 2025 the additional levy (Premium) for an unoccupied and unfurnished property will be charged after the property has been unoccupied for 1 year (instead of the current 2 year rule)

The revised table of charges is:

Period Empty

Charge

0 to 7 days

Exempt (100% discount)

7 days to 1 years

Full charge

1 years to 5 years

Full charge + 100% Levy (double)

5 years to 10 Years

Full charge + 200% Levy (triple)

Over 10 years

Full charge + 300% Levy (quadruple)


When calculating the levy it does not matter if the date the property became empty was before 1 April 2025.

Second Homes Premium

For council tax, second homes are defined as 'A furnished home, which is not currently being used as someone's main home' so this includes a home which is only used occasionally and furnished lets which are between tenants.

From 1 April 2025 an additional levy (Premium) will be charged for all second homes. This will increase the council tax charged by 100% (double the charge).