Toggle menu

Empty Unfurnished Properties and Second Homes

Long-term empty premium

An additional charge (a premium) may be applied to unoccupied properties that have been substantially unfurnished for one year or more, as follows:

Empty period ChargeComment
Up to 1 month0%A 100% discount is applied for the first month a property is empty
1 month up to 1 year100%Full charge due
1 year and less than 5 years200%100% premium
5 years and less than 10 years300%200% premium 
10 years or more400%300% premium 


A long-term empty premium will not apply in the following circumstances:

  1. The property is exempt from Council Tax.
  2. It is empty where the occupant is living in armed forces accommodation, for job-related purposes.
  3. It is an annexe being used as part of a main residence.
  4. New owners of an empty property will not be liable for a premium charge for a period of up to 12 months. Should the property remain empty, a premium will be applied based on the period the property has been empty. This is a local exemption to the premium charge. 

Liability for payment of council tax on unoccupied properties falls to the owner of the property, or to someone who holds a lease of six months or more. Periods of occupation of less than six weeks are excluded when determining the overall period a dwelling is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

Second Homes

Furnished properties which are not a main residence but which may be occupied occasionally, e.g. second homes, are charged at 100% of the Council Tax liability.

With effect from 1 April 2025, a 100% second homes premium (200% charge) will be applied in most circumstances.

The government has indicated that it will pass legislation, prior to April 2025, to exclude certain types of properties from the long-term empty or second homes premium including properties undergoing probate or which are actively marketed for sale. This webpage will be updated once this legislation has been enacted.