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Council Tax premium for long-term empty properties

An additional amount of Council Tax (a ‘premium’) is charged when a property has been empty and unfurnished for two years or more.

From 1 April 2021, the following premiums apply:

  • For properties that have been empty and substantially unfurnished for two years, but less than five years, the premium remains set at 100%
  • For properties that have been empty and substantially unfurnished for five years but less than ten years, the premium remains set at 200%.
  • Where a property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for ten years or more, the premium will increase to 300%. This means that if you own a property which has been empty and unfurnished for ten years or more, you will be charged an extra 300% Council Tax on top of the full Council Tax for the property (a 400% Council Tax charge).

As this premium applies to the property, a change of ownership or tenancy will not affect the premium. If when you purchased or leased your property it had already been empty and unfurnished for two years or more, you will have to pay the extra Council Tax charge. The additional charge can only be removed by bringing your property back into use.

If the premium affects you we will write to you and send you a new Council Tax bill.

There are two types of property that are not affected by the premium:

  • property which is left empty by a member of the armed services, who is away from the property as a result of their service
  • property which forms part of a single property, for example, an annexe.

If your bill shows a long-term empty premium and you think that your property is in one of these categories please contact us straight away.

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