Changes to council tax charges on second or some empty homes

The council tax we charge on second homes and some empty homes changed on 1 April 2013.

Why we made the changes

The government changed the law to allow councils to vary the amount of council tax they charge for some empty properties.

This was to encourage people to bring empty homes back into use as quickly as possible.

Second homes

If you have a second home, you have to pay 100 per cent of the council tax on it. Typically, a second home is a furnished property that is not a main home.

If you leave a property empty because you live somewhere else for work purposes, please contact our council tax team using the details on this page.

Empty properties

If you have an empty property, we offer some discounts:

Homes that are substantially unfurnished and in need of, or undergoing, structural alterations or major repairs

We offer a 50 per cent discount in council tax for 12 months. After that, you will have to pay full council tax.

Homes that are substantially unfurnished, including newly built properties

We offer a 100 per cent discount for three months. After that, you will have to pay full council tax.

Long-term empty properties

If your property has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for longer than two years, you will have to pay 150 per cent council tax on it while it is like this.

Summary of charges

TypePayment Due
Second homes  (including properties that are unoccupied but furnished)

100% charge

Properties where you are carrying out major repair work or structural alterations
  • 50% discount for the first 12  months                    
  • 100% charge after 12 months

Properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished

  • 100% discount for the first three months
  • 100% charge after three months
Long-term empty homes - where a property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for longer than two years

150% charge from the two year point

If you are struggling to pay

If you are struggling to pay your council tax following these changes then we may be able to help you from our exceptional hardship fund.

You will need to complete and return our  pdf icon exceptional hardship claim form [101kb].

Bringing your home back into use

If you would like to discuss options about bringing your empty property back into use, please contact our Housing Strategy team for advice using the contact details on this page.

 
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Related documents

Contacts

Council tax - billing and collection
localtax@rushmoor.gov.uk
Tel: 01252 398912
View full details

Housing strategy
housingstrategy@rushmoor.gov.uk
Tel: 01252 398632
View full details

 

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