Empty and unoccupied properties

Most unoccupied properties attract a full council tax charge, whether furnished or not.

Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished for two years or more may also attract a 50% premium charge.

However, there are a number of special circumstances in which a full exemption can be given. These are listed below:

Unoccupied property owned by a charity (Class B)

A property owned by a charity is exempt for up to 6 months if when last occupied it was used for the purposes of the charity.

Property left empty by a person in detention (Class D)

An unoccupied property is exempt if the owner or tenant is detained in prison, a hospital or some other place of detention, unless they were imprisoned for non-payment of council tax or a fine.

Please download an application form.

Property left empty by someone living in a hospital or care home (Class E)

An unoccupied property is exempt if it was previously the sole or main home of the owner or tenant and their main home is now a hospital, care home or hostel where they are receiving treatment.

Please download an application form.

Property unoccupied because the owner or tenant has died (Class F)

Where a property is left unoccupied following the death of the owner or tenant, an exemption can be granted until probate is granted or letters of administration are obtained, and for up to six months afterwards if it remains unoccupied.

However, if someone else has a legal interest in the property, the exemption will not apply and a full charge will be payable.

Notify us of a death

Property where occupation is prohibited by law (Class G)

An unoccupied property is exempt if it cannot be occupied by law, for instance where a compulsory purchase order has been made. However, if someone occupies a property despite such a prohibition, they will be liable for an occupied council tax charge.

Property left unoccupied for a minister of religion (Class H)

An unoccupied property is exempt if held available for a minister of religion as somewhere from where they will perform their duties, for example a vicarage. This applies whether or not it was used for such a purpose previously.

Property left empty by someone needing personal care (Class I)

An unoccupied property is exempt if it was previously the sole or main home of the owner or tenant and they have since gone to live elsewhere to receive care due to old age, disablement, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental disorder. This includes people being looked after by relatives, and those in institutions that would not give rise to an exemption under Class E above.

Property left empty by a person providing personal care (Class J)

An unoccupied property is exempt if it was previously the sole or main home of the owner or tenant and they have since gone to live elsewhere to provide care to someone who requires care due to old age, disablement, past or present alcohol or drug dependence, or past or present mental disorder. They do not need to live with the person being cared for, but they must be better able to look after them from their new home.

Property left unoccupied by a student (Class K)

This exemption applies where a property was previously the sole or main home of a student who has moved elsewhere and no-one other than students was living there.

Unoccupied property repossessed by a mortgagee (Class L)

An unoccupied property is exempt if it has been repossessed by a mortgage company and has not yet been sold.

Unoccupied property where the liable person is a trustee in bankruptcy (Class Q)

An unoccupied property is exempt if the person liable is a trustee in bankruptcy. This can be the Official Receiver (OR) or an insolvency practitioner (IP). The exemption will continue until the property is sold, or the trustee disclaims any interest in the property.

Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring (Class R)

Council tax is charged on a pitch occupied by a caravan or a mooring occupied by a boat if it is someone’s sole or main home. A pitch or mooring not occupied by a caravan or boat is exempt.

Unoccupied annexes (Class T)

This exemption applies to an unoccupied annexe that cannot be let separately from the main part of the property without breaching planning control.