Empty homes and second homes
Council tax is payable on properties that are empty, including second homes.
In April 2013, the council changed its approach to Council Tax discounts and exemptions to address 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
Some properties are entitled to an exemption, which means no council tax is payable. Find out more about exemptions.
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 increased from 50% to 100%. These properties paid 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.
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 additional premium. The premium can only be removed by bringing your property back into use.
Help to return empty properties to use
If you are interested in returning your property to use, please contact the Empty Property Officers to advise them of your plans.
The officers can offer a range of assistance, both practical and financial, that can benefit the owners of qualifying properties.
Find out more about the Empty Property service or contact the team:
Empty Property Team
Telephone: 020 8760 5470