Council Tax Discounts
Empty: A property that is not anyone's main home and is substantially unfurnished
Unoccupied: A furnished property that is not anyone's main home
Occuped: A property that is lived in as someone's main home
Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished currently attract a 100% charge after any Class A or Class C exemption has expired.
A decision was made by Members on 19th October 2017 to introduce a long-term empty premium from the 1st April 2019 for properties that have been empty (unoccupied and unfurnished) for more than three years.
Therefore any property that meets the above criteria will be subject to a 100% charge and the premium applied as follows:
- From 1 April 2019 the council tax premium would be 25% i.e. 125% annual Council Tax charged for properties empty for three years or more.
- From 1 April 2020 the council tax premium would be 50% for properties empty for four years or more i.e. 150% annual Council Tax charged.
- From 1 April 2021 the council tax premium would be 100% for properties empty for 5 years or more i.e. 200% annual Council Tax charged.
There are four statutory exceptions to the premium:
Class 1: Dwellings being marketed for sale – time-limited for one year
In order for qualify for this exception a dwelling must be on the market for sale at a resonable price. In considering whether a price is reasonable, comparisons will be made regarding other properties up for sale/sold in the area. Evidence that the property is for sale will be required.
Please note that this exception is time limited to one year. However this period may be extended if a sale is imminient. You will need to apply on the attached form for any extension
Class 2: Dwellings being marketed to let – time limited for one year
To qualify for this exception the dwelling must be on the market for let at a resonable rent. Evidence that the property is being marketed for let will be required.
Please note that this exception is time limited to one year, however this period may be extended if a let is iminient. You will need to apply on the attached form for any extension.
Class 3: Annexes forming part of and being used as part of the main dwelling
This exception applies where an owner has adapted their dwelling to provide an annexe and the annexe is now being used as part of the main dwelling.
Class 4: Dwellings which would be someone’s sole or main residence if they were not residing in armed forces accommodation
This exception applies to dwellings that would be a person’s sole or main residence but which is unoccupied because that person lives in armed forces accommodation.
It also covers armed forces personnel whose homes are unoccupied because they are living in armed forces accommodation overseas.
An appeal process has also been devised to allow for a discretionary discount to be granted to allow the taxpayer additional time before the premium will be applied. Considerations will be given to taxpayers who are currently renting a property whilst trying to renovate a property to use as their main home, where there are delays due to the presence of bats, or planning issues, or the property is a listed building and/or the level of work the property required. Any application will also be subject to a financial test.