London Borough of Croydon

Exemptions and discounts for empty properties

In April 2013, the council changed its approach to council tax discounts and exemptions due to significant housing pressures for local residents. The council has introduced a number of options to help bring empty properties back into use. This includes: 

  • Class A (uninhabitable exemptions) and Class C (empty and unfurnished exemptions) no longer exist and full council tax will need to be paid
  • the 10% discount for properties that are empty and furnished no longer exists and full council tax will need to be paid
  • where a property has been empty and unfurnished for more than 2 years, an additional 50% premium is now added and these properties will therefore pay 150% council tax

Changes to the empty property premium from 1 April 2019

From 1 April 2019, the premium for properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than 2 years will increase from 50% to 100% and these properties will therefore pay 200% council tax. 

From 1 April 2020 an increase of 200% will be applied for properties that have been empty for at least 5 years and these properties will therefore pay 300% council tax.

From 1 April 2021 an increase of 300% will be applied for properties that have been empty for at least 10 years and these properties will therefore pay 400% council tax.

All other exemptions, discounts and discount disregards will remain the same.

Depending on individual circumstances there are a number of options that you can consider in order to avoid having to pay council tax for an empty property.  For instance, you could rent it out or sell it and advice on how to go about this is attached at the bottom of the page.

The sole occupier discount is also called the single person discount. It can be awarded where there is only one adult over the age of 18 living at the property.  This will give a reduction of 25%.

You can only get this discount if you live alone. You cannot get it if other people usually live with you but are away on a temporary basis. For example, you cannot get this discount for the times when the other residents are on holiday or are working away from home.

To apply, please complete the online discount form.

There is usually no discount if two or more adults live in your home.  However, certain people are not counted as an extra person when we count the number of residents.  These people are termed 'disregarded'.

If there is only one adult living in the property after we have excluded the 'disregarded' people, you will be entitled to a discount of 25%.

If all occupants are disregarded you will be entitled to a 50% discount or possibly an exemption.

Who is disregarded 

The following people are 'disregarded' or 'not counted' when we work out council tax discounts:

  • Young people who are 18 years old, if child benefit is still in payment for them
  • 18 and 19 year olds in further education
  • Recent school or college leavers if they are under 20 years old
  • Full time students
  • Some foreign national spouses and dependants of full time students
  • Foreign language assistants
  • Apprentices
  • Youth training trainees
  • People who are 'severely mentally impaired'
  • Some carers
  • Prisoners and other people held in detention
  • Residents of nursing homes, care homes and some hostels
  • Members of religious communities, for example nuns and monks
  • Patients living in hospital long term
  • Members and their dependants of international headquarters and defence organisations such as NATO
  • Members of visiting armed forces and their dependants
  • Foreign diplomats.

Contacts

Council tax section

Telephone: 
020 8726 7000
Minicom: 
Payment line - 0345 300 0614 (option 3)
Address Line:

Council tax section

London Borough of Croydon

Bernard Weatherill House

8 Mint Walk

Croydon, CR0 1EA

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