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Council tax empty property

Date updated: 27/03/2024

A full council tax charge applies to all properties that are not in use as a main home or are unfurnished, this includes:

  • furnished properties not in use as a main home i.e. second homes
  • unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property that have been so for less than two years. After a period of two years a long-term empty property premium is charged 
  • properties undergoing major repair or structural alteration

Check to see if your property falls within one of the council tax exemption categories

Long-term empty property premium

A premium of the relevant band charge is applied depending on how long the property has been empty. For 2024/25 this will result in an additional levy depending on how long the applicable vacant dwelling has been empty for:

  • 1 or more years, but less than 5 years, a levy of 100%, (i.e. a charge of 200%)
  • 5 or more years, but less than 10 years, a levy of 200%, (i.e. a charge of 300%)
  • 10 or more years, a levy of 300% (i.e. a charge of 400%)

In exceptional circumstances local authorities have a discretion to reduce or waive the empty premium charge. Contact the council tax team for further details.

If you notify us that a property is now occupied and/or furnished and therefore a long-term premium is no longer applicable, physical inspections will be carried out to verify the property status.

Second homes premium

The definition of a second home for council tax purposes is a dwelling which is no-ones sole or main home but is substantially furnished. Please click here for further details on this.

Section 80 of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 permits us to apply a premium on second homes.

The Act requires that the first decision to impose this class of premium must be taken 12 months before the financial year to which it would apply. The decision was taken by the City of London on the 7 March 2024 to apply this premium.

It is the City's current intention that from the 1 April 2025 a 100% council tax premium will be added to the bill for any property liable for council tax and classed as a second home. This will result in a 200% council tax charge.

Further details on any exceptions to this premium, as outlined by the government, will be provided on this page in due course.