Property Discounts

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Second Home & Long Term Empty Properties

The initial bill for a property assumes that there are least two permanent residents aged 18 years or over in the property and a full charge for Council Tax, Water and Sewerage is levied. Properties which have no permanent residents are classed as unoccupied properties and the amount of Council Tax charged may vary dependent on the circumstances of the property and the length of time which they have been empty.

You will be charged additional Council Tax if your property:

  • is not a holiday home, purpose built holiday home or job related accommodation
  • is not a dwelling which is undergoing, or requires, major repair work to render it habitable, or which is undergoing structural alteration during the period of 6 months beginning with the day on which that dwelling was purchased - by the person who is liable to pay Council Tax in respect of that dwelling
  • has been unoccupied for over 12 months and is not up for sale or rent, or
  • has been marketed for sale or rent and has been unoccupied for 2 years or more.

    The total charge is 200% for an empty property that is unoccupied for more than 12 months or up to 2 years if actively marketed for sale or rent. This is 100% Council Tax, based on the Valuation band of the property, and 100% long term empty property (LTE) levy. 

    From 1st April 2017, the discount on second homes has been removed.

    An 'empty dwelling' is defined as a dwelling, which is both unoccupied and unfurnished.

    A 'long term empty dwelling' is a property that has been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 12 months.

    A 'second home' is defined as a dwelling, which is no one's sole or main residence and is not an empty dwelling i.e. it is an unoccupied and furnished dwelling but where there is evidence of the property being lived in for at least 25 days a year.

Councils have discretion to delay the long term empty property levy for up to a year if the property meets certain criteria:

  • The property is taking a long time to sell or let in a stagnant market
  • The owner has agreed with the Council to take positive steps to re-occupy the property
  • The owner is finishing renovations prior to moving in or selling or letting and can demonstrate that these works are progressing
  • Although failing to currently meet the 25 day occupancy criteria for second home status, the owner can provide evidence of 25 days occupancy for prior years and the immediate preceding year.


    Second Homes & Long Term Empty Property Council Tax


Council Tax prior to the implementation of the LTE levy

Current Level of Council Tax

Second Homes

10% Discount

No Discount

Empty properties vacant for 12 months or less

10% Discount

10% Discount

Long Term empty properties vacant for 12 - 24 months and being marketed for sale or rent.

10% Discount

10% Discount

Long Term empty properties vacant between 12 - 24 months but not being marketed for sale or rent

10% Discount

Additional 100% Council Tax premium added

Long Term empty properties vacant for more than 24 months

10% Discount

Additional 100% Council Tax premium added

Job-Related Second Homes

50% Discount

50% Discount


Unoccupied dwellings

The maximum period of exemption for a property which is empty and unfurnished is 6 months.

In the majority of cases a 6 month exemption will be calculated from the start date of the exemption application. Please note: if an exemption has previously been awarded against a property, this period may count towards the 6 months. This does not apply where the property has been occupied for 3 months, or more, immediately before the start date of an application.

If your property remains unoccupied after 6 months, a 50% discount will be awarded for a further 6 months, or to the date which is 12 months from the property becoming unoccupied, whichever is earliest.

This discount is applicable to the Council Tax charge only and not water and waste water charges.    

If the property is still unoccupied after 12 months a 100% additional Council Tax Levy may be applied and will be payable for as long as the property remains unoccupied.

Dwellings under repair

You may be entitled to an exemption in this category if your property is unoccupied and is either:

  • Undergoing or has undergone major repair work to make it suitable to live in
  • Undergoing or has undergone structural alterations

    The exemption starts on the day the work begins and ends on completion of the major repair work or structural alterations or 12 months after the last day it was occupied, whichever is sooner.  Fitting a replacement bathroom or kitchen does not constitute major repair.

    Where someone has recently purchased an unoccupied dwelling in either of these circumstances and the maximum period of exemption has expired a 50% discount can be awarded for 6 months from the date of purchase.   Once this 6 month period ends, the discount will reduce to 10% for a maximum of 6 months.   

    Where the liable person has not purchased the property within the last 6 months, the maximum amount of discount that can be awarded is 10%.


    Purpose built holiday homes

    A 50% discount is awarded for those dwellings classed as 'purpose built holiday homes'. This is a dwelling which is used for holiday purposes and which, in accordance with any license/planning permission regulating the use of the site:

  • is not allowed to be used for habitation throughout the whole year OR
  • by reason of its construction or the facilities which it does, or does not, provide, is unfit so to be used.


Job Related Dwellings

A 50% discount will be awarded in respect of second properties owned or rented by someone living in certain job related dwellings.

A job related dwelling is:

  • one that you must live in as part of your contract of employment OR
  • you need to live in for you to properly perform your duties OR
  • it is the kind of job where it is normal for a home to be provided and you will be able to perform your duties better OR
  • where you live in the home because of a threat to your security and you have a special security arrangement.


Note: From 1st April 2006, where a property is not the sole or main residence of any person, discount will not be granted in respect of any water and/or sewerage charges.

You can apply for a property discount by downloading and completing an application form.