Council Tax bands and charges

Empty homes premium charge

If your property has been empty and substantially unfurnished for two years or more, you will be required to pay an empty home premium on top of the full Council Tax charge for your property.

How much is the premium?

The premium is 100% of the full Council Tax charge for your property, so you will have to pay 200% of the full Council Tax charge. The premium increases, the longer that your property is empty:

  • from 1 April 2020, the premium increases to 200% if your property has been empty for more than five years
  • from 1 April 2021, the premium increases to 300% if your property has been empty for more than ten years

Do I have to pay the premium?

You are required to pay the premium if your property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for two years or more unless your property:

  • qualifies for a property discount or exemption
  • is empty and unfurnished because it would otherwise be the sole or main residence of a person who is living in Ministry of Defence accommodation due to their employment
  • is an annexe which is unoccupied because it is being used by the occupier of the main dwelling as part of that dwelling

Please note: Unless your empty property qualifies for a discount or exemption, you will always have to pay the full 100% Council Tax charge for it.

Why am I charged extra when I am not using my property?

The empty homes premium is intended as an incentive to landlords to ensure properties are occupied as soon as possible. We introduced the 50% premium in 2013, at the same time as removing some discounts for empty properties.

In the November 2017 budget, the government gave us the power to increase this to a 100% premium on empty properties, to encourage owners of empty homes to bring their properties back into use. At its meeting on 17 January 2019 (link opens in new window), the Council decided to exercise this power from April 2019.

Help with empty properties

Find out how we can help with advice if you need help getting an empty home back into use.