Homes that become vacant

If you have an empty property, you do not have to pay council tax on it for up to two months.

Discount time limit

The discount lasts for up to two months from the date the property becomes vacant. 

After the discount period has expired, you will have to pay 100% council tax.

We only allow one council tax-free period of two months, irrespective of any changes in ownership.

If your property has been empty for more than two years, you will have to pay an additional 100% premium while it continues to be empty.

If, during the tax-free period, someone moves into the property or it becomes substantially furnished for a period of less than six weeks,  then it becomes vacant again, the discount will still only run for the rest of the original two-month exemption period.

What we mean by the terms vacant, unoccupied and substantially unfurnished


Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.


There is no-one living at the property as an only or main home.

Substantially unfurnished

The property is empty or contains only a small amount of furniture, equipment and items that are not enough to support anyone living there long-term.

By this we mean:

  • Carpets
  • Curtains
  • Any items that are built into the property, such as some cookers, gas fires and fitted wardrobes or cupboards
  • White goods, such as a fridge or freezer
  • Abandoned items of furniture that are in such a poor state of repair that they no longer have any use

To apply for a discount

Complete the Homes that become vacant - council tax discount application form.

You need to include:

  • A full inventory of the furniture, equipment and items that will stay in the property while it is unoccupied
Did you find what you were looking for?Did you find what you were looking for?
    1. We use your views to improve our website. If you have a query about our services, please email

    1. We use your views to improve our website. If you have a query about our services, please email


Council tax
Tel: 01252 398912
View full details


A - Z of Council Services