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Paying Council Tax on empty properties | Sandwell Council

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Paying Council Tax on empty properties

If you own or have bought a property and it remains empty while you carry out repairs or improvements, you will still need to pay the Council Tax.

This applies for properties that are:

  • empty and unfurnished
  • empty and furnished
  • undergoing major works/structural repairs
  • non job-related second homes.

Any property which has been empty and unfurnished for two years or more will be charged an additional 100% on its Council Tax bill. This will mean that you will be liable for double the normal Council Tax amount.

Any property empty and unfurnished for five years or more will be charged an additional 200% on its Council Tax bill. This means that you will be liable for three times the normal Council Tax amount.

From April 2021, any property empty and unfurnished for ten years or more will be charged an additional 300% on its Council Tax bill. This means that you will be liable for four times the normal Council Tax amount.

By charging extra Council Tax, we aim to increase the availability of affordable housing and reduce homelessness by bringing empty homes back into use. 

Only in certain circumstances - such as a property left empty by someone dying or moving into a care home - does Council Tax not apply on an empty property. Find out about discounts and exemptions for council tax

Long-term empty properties will also be charged further increases from April 2020 and April 2021 respectively.

Date of change Empty period Additional amount on top of normal empty charge Total Council Tax charge
1 April 2019 Two or more years 100% 200%
1 April 2020 Five or more years 200% 300%
1 April 2021 Ten or more years 300% 400%

 

Legislation covering the Empty Homes Premium

Section 11B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 was introduced by Section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012 and allowed for local authorities to charge an additional 50% Council Tax where properties had remained empty for a period of 2 years or more.
Legislation introduced by the Rating (Properties in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018 on 1st November 2018 allows for councils to increase the levels of the premium as shown above.

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