In 2013 Central Government introduced legislation giving local councils discretion to charge a Council Tax 50% premium on certain long term empty properties to act as an incentive to help turn empty properties back into homes.

In November 2018 the Government changed the legislation to allow councils to further increase the long-term empty premium charge.

A further change will come into effect from April 2024.

The empty homes premium is being applied as follows:

Since 1 April 2018

  • 100% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 2 years or more, but less than 5 years. This means 200% Council Tax is payable.
  • 200% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 5 years or more, but less than 10 years. This means 300% Council Tax is payable.
  • 300% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 10 years or more. This means 400% Council Tax is payable.

From 1 April 2024

  • 100% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 1 year or more, but less than 5 years. This means 200% Council Tax is payable.
  • 200% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 5 years or more, but less than 10 years. This means 300% Council Tax is payable.
  • 300% for properties which have been empty and unfurnished for 10 years or more. This means 400% Council Tax is payable.

Second homes

From 1 April 2025 second homes (properties that are unoccupied and furnished) will have a 100% charge plus a 100% premium applied and this will remain the same as long as the property is unoccupied and furnished.

There may be exceptions where these premiums cannot be applied, which are pending the outcome of Government consultation. This page will be updated once we have that information.

Empty properties are a priority for the council as they could provide a much-needed home. Please visit empty residential properties for help and advice if you have a property you wish to bring back into use.

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