Council Tax for empty homes
We want to encourage people to bring their empty homes back into use. If you need some help with this please visit our empty homes page.
Empty and unfurnished homes
If you own an empty home you will be charged full council tax from the day the property becomes empty and unfurnished. No discounts are available however you should check to see if you qualify for an exemption detailed below.
If you have a long term empty home please visit our empty homes page for information and advice.
Long term empty homes
We charge a premium when a property has been empty for over two years. We have set the premium at 50%. This means that if you own a property that has been empty and unfurnished for over two years, you will have to pay your council tax bill plus a premium of 50% on top.
Empty homes in a poor state of repair
If you own a home that is a poor state of repair you will be charged full council tax, no discounts are available. You can check to see if you qualify for an exemption detailed below.
Empty homes - Armed Forces job related
Accommodation provided for UK armed forces which is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence is exempt whether occupied or not. This includes barracks and married quarters. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) pays a Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax to us. In Rutland our forces accommodation is at St Georges Barracks, North Luffenham and Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore.
If you own your own home (not armed forces accommodation) and you leave your home empty and unfurnished, you will be charged full council tax as no discounts are available. However, you will not be charged the long term empty home premium.
If you leave your home empty but it remains furnished you may be entitled to claim a discount of 50%.
The MoD runs a scheme, as part of the military covenant, called ‘The Council Tax Relief Scheme’ that supports military personnel serving overseas who are liable to pay council tax for a property that they own in Great Britain. If this describes your circumstances you may want to see if you are eligible for this payment.
Empty Homes exemptions
There are some exemptions available, these are broad descriptions and more detailed criteria apply:
- Empty property owned and last used by a registered charity (for up to six months)
- Left empty by someone in prison or being detained under the Mental Health Act
- Left empty by someone living in a hospital, care home, nursing home, or elsewhere, to receive care, with no plans to move back in
- Left empty because the occupier died and probate or letters of administration are yet to be granted (and for up to six months afterwards)
- Left empty as occupation is forbidden by law
- Left empty to be used by a Minister of Religion
- Left empty by people providing care to someone else
- Left empty by the owner who is a student living somewhere else
- Left empty due to repossession
- Left empty and is the responsibility of a trustee in bankruptcy
- Empty caravan pitches or boat moorings
- Empty because the property forms part of another property which cannot be let separately because of planning rules.
If you think you might qualify for a property exemption please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details or complete an application form.
Please remember, while you are waiting for the outcome of an application, you must continue to pay your current bill.