Long Term Empty Properties

Council Tax charges for Long Term Empty Properties

The main aim of these changes is to encourage the owners of these properties to bring them back into use to help tackle housing shortages.

If you own or rent a property which has been empty for 12 months or more, the Council Tax will increase to 200%, unless the property qualifies for any exemptions.

A discount may still apply if the property is actively being marketed for sale or rent for up to 24 months after the last occupation date.

From 1 April 2024 new legislation allows for a grace-period for up to 6 months from the long term empty increased charges being applied, that are payable on an unoccupied property, when it is purchased by a new owner. This grace-period will apply where the property has been purchased by a new owner within the past six months, and evidence can be provided to confirm that renovations or repairs are being undertaken by the owner with a view to the building being brought back into use.

If you purchase a property, take over a tenancy or move into a property which has already been empty for 12 months you may be required to pay the premium as soon as you take the property over.

If you deliberately give false information or fail to report a discount has been awarded incorrectly you may have to pay a fine of £500.

Get information on bringing properties back into use.

How to apply for the Long Term Empty discount

You can use our online form to make your application, which is the preferred and most efficient method. If you need any assistance, contact our Customer Advice and Support Service. 

Make a Long Term Empty discount application

Customer Advice and Support Service

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800