How to avoid paying council tax on an empty property



20th September, 2022


Property Types

How to avoid paying council tax on an empty property

There are countless cases and situations in which an owner who has two properties, can have one of them unoccupied, neither by him nor by any tenant. In this situation, the question arises whether or not we are obliged to pay taxes to the municipality, even if the house is empty.

What is council tax?

The council tax is set by the council and it’s charged on all residential properties. The amount of council tax you pay depends on the value of your property, how much your local council charges for that band and whether you can get a discount or exemption from the full bill.

The more expensive your house, the higher your council tax will be.

Do I have to pay Council Tax even if the property is empty?

A homeowner usually has to pay Council Tax on a property they own or rent if it is not your main home, such as holiday homes. You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax on an empty home. In order to know exactly what is tax you have to pay, we suggest you contact the Council where you belong.

Generally, there is no discount for empty properties, but some councils will offer a discount.

If your home has been empty for 2 years or more you can be charged an extra amount of Council Tax (a ‘premium’). The amount you pay will depend on how long the property has been empty.

You will not have to pay the empty home premium in 2 situations:

  • The empty property is an annex;
  • You’re in the armed forces and you have to move into armed forces accommodation as part of your work;

You will not have to pay Council Tax in these conditions

  • If you’re selling a property on behalf of an owner who’s died, as long as the property remains empty;
  • Homes of someone in prison (except for not paying a fine or Council Tax)
  • Homes of someone who’s moved into a care home or hospital
  • Homes that have been repossessed
  • Homes that cannot be lived in by law, for example, if they’re derelict
  • Homes that are empty because they’ve been compulsorily purchased and will be demolished
  • If you are in one of these situations, you probably don’t have to pay this tax.

How long can a property be left empty?

You can leave a property empty for as long as you wish, but it’s important to know that if a property has been empty and unfurnished for two years or more, you’ll be charged more.

What to do to avoid this situation?

You can do two things: sell or rent the empty property. More than 30 years after buying our first student property, we now oversee a multi-million-pound international portfolio of properties. One of our main areas of expertise is connecting renters and landlords, and we concentrate on 3 main areas: student, professional and commercial properties. In addition, we can provide full support for people wishing to get on the property ladder.