Council tax exemptions and premiums

Empty properties

We charge a premium for properties that are left empty and unfurnished. All premiums are charges in addition to the full council tax bill for the property.

Until 31 March 2024, our charge is a 100% premium for properties left empty and unfurnished for at least 2 years. This means owners will pay 200% of the full council tax.

From 1 April 2024, our charges are:

  • 100% premium for properties left empty for at least 1 year and less than 5 years
  • 200% premium for properties left empty for at least 5 years and less than 10 years
  • 300% premium for properties left empty for at least 10 years

For advice on making empty properties fit to live in, go to our Empty Property scheme.


The empty properties premium does not apply to:

  • empty properties of service personnel who have been posted away from home
  • empty annexes that are part of a person's sole or main residence

The government has consulted on allowing the following additional exceptions to empty properties premiums. Whilst they are not yet in law, we will consider applications in respect these exceptions:

  • inherited properties undergoing probate – a 12-month exception to the empty home premium from when probate or letters of administration have been granted, after which the property will be liable for the standard rate of council tax unless, at our discretion, we find the case merits a longer exception period or a higher level of discount
  • properties being actively marketed for sale of let – a 12-month exception to the empty home premium, which would run from when the exception first applies until the end of the exception period or until the property is no longer actively marketed, or is sold, or is let, whichever is sooner
  • properties undergoing major repairs or structural alternations – a 12-month exception to the empty homes premium 

Second homes and furnished homes

Second homes and furnished unoccupied properties do not get a discount. You must pay the full council tax rate for the property.

You can get: