Council tax

4. Empty properties

Some empty properties are exempt from council tax – for example, if the property is left empty by someone who has moved into hospital or a care home, or gone to receive or provide care because of a disability or illness. However, most properties that are unoccupied for two years or more don’t qualify for a discount. They may even face a 50% increase in council tax, depending on the local council.

If all the people living in a property are disregarded, but no exemption applies, the property will be treated as if it is empty. Under these circumstances, the property would usually attract a charge of 50% of the full council tax. The local council will provide details of charges for the property.

Under new localised support schemes (see ‘Support with council tax’ below), many local authorities have changed the rules for how these exemptions apply, depending on why the property is not occupied. The council tax department in the local council should be able to advise on any discounts.