Discounts and additional charges for empty properties and second homes

From 1 April 2020

 

Empty and unfurnished dwellings will receive a discount of 100% for a maximum period of one (1) calendar month from the date the dwelling first became empty irrespective of who is liable when the property meets the criteria. Once a discount has been awarded there must be a minimum occupation period of twelve (12) weeks before another empty property discount can be awarded.

Example;

A tenant vacates a property on 19th March removing all furniture. They remain liable under the terms of a tenancy agreement until the 1st April.

The property became unfurnished and unoccupied on 19th March, therefore, the tenant as the liable party  at the time the property met the criteria, will be entitled to claim a short term empty discount for the period 20th March to 31st March.

The landlord / owner of the property becomes liable from 1st April and will be awarded the remaining period of the maximum 1 month short term empty discount, only whilst the property meets the criteria.

If the property remains empty and unfurnished for longer than 1 calendar month, the liable party will be billed for 100% charge until such time that the property has been let or reoccupied.

Dwellings that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished that need major repairs such as structural alterations, to make them habitable may receive a discount of 50% for up to twelve (12) months

Example - an empty property that has suffered from flooding and needs substantial repairs before someone can live in it again may qualify for this discount until repairs are complete, for a maximum of 12 months

Example - an empty property that has suffered from subsidence and requires structural alterations before someone can live in it again may qualify for this discount until repairs are complete, for a maximum of 12 months

Example - a property is empty whilst having a new kitchen fitted would not qualify for a discount because a kitchen refit would not be classified as a major repair or structural alteration

Long term empty dwellings 

Properties that have been empty for over 2 years and under 5 years will be charged am empty home premium of 100% of the annual Council Tax charge (Equivalent to 2 x Council Tax)

Properties that have been empty for more than 5 years will be charged an empty home premium of 200% of the annual Council Tax charge (Equivalent to 3 x Council Tax)

From 2021 onwards properties empty for more than 10 years will be charged a 300% premium. This will be in addition to the annual Council Tax charge (Equivalent to 4 x Council Tax)

Second Homes

Properties that are unoccupied and furnished will receive a 10% discount

Note - If purchasing a property that was empty prior to purchase, it is advisable to check whether any relevant discount has already been applied or whether a long term empty premium may apply.