Discounts and exemptions on Council Tax

Empty homes discounts

Discounts available

Empty homes where the owner has died

  • homes where the owner has died are exempt for up to six months after probate is granted (your legal right to sell the home)

Empty homes with no furniture (from 1 April 2015)

  • empty homes with no furniture are liable for Council Tax (there is no longer a discount for 14 days)
  • when it has been empty for two years (with no break) the Council Tax bill will increase to about 150 per cent
Empty homes with furniture
  • homes which are empty but still furnished are liable for Council Tax
  • (if the home is a pitch with a caravan or a mooring with a boat, then it may be exempt from Council Tax if it is unoccupied)

Some homes are exempt for as long as they remain empty. They include homes:

  • of someone in prison (except for not paying a fine or Council Tax)
  • of someone who has moved into a care home or hospital
  • that have been repossessed
  • that cannot be lived in by law
  • that are kept empty because they have been compulsory purchased and so will be demolished
  • where the owner is bankrupt
  • held empty for a minister of religion to work from
  • of someone who is living elsewhere as a carer
  • of a student whose term-time address is elsewhere
  • which are caravan pitches or boat moorings

Apply for a discount

Use our online form to apply for a discount. You will need to log in, or create an account with us if you have not already done so. Within the form choose 'other discounts and exemptions'.

Whilst applying you should continue to pay your usual Council Tax bill. If the discount applies we'll send out a new bill which takes into account any money you have already paid and shows the discount.

If we give you a discount by mistake, or you are no longer entitled to receive a discount because your circumstances have changed, you must let us know within 21 days or you could be fined or prosecuted.

Yearly review of your discount

If you get the empty homes discount, we may send you a letter asking you to check that you are still entitled to that discount. The letter will ask you to use our online form to tell us whether you are still entitled to the discount or not.

The online review form only appears at certain times of the year, we'll send you a letter to let you know when it's time.