Unoccupied and unfurnished
Owners of unoccupied and
unfurnished properties can apply for a 100% property discount for a
period of up to three months.
This discount is used for properties which are empty awaiting
sale or let or undergoing refurbishments (which are not major).
After three months of the property being empty, full council tax
becomes payable even if the property remains unoccupied and
Please note if you purchase an unoccupied and
unfurnished property you will only be entitled to the remainder of
the three months discount.
A property which is
unoccupied, unfurnished and in need of major repairs or structural
renovations to make it habitable, can receive a 100% property
discount. The discount can continue for up to 6 months after the
works are completed providing the property remains unoccupied and
unfurnished and does not exceed 12 months. In order to apply for
this discount, we will require evidence of the work required or
being carried out to make the property habitable. Evidence
can include photographs and/or contract invoices.
After the 12 months, full council tax becomes
payable even if the property remains unoccupied and
Further to this, if the property is still
empty after two years – there will be an extra 50% charge on the
Property empty for over 2
Once a property has been empty for over 2 years, a ‘long-term empty
premium’ of 50% is applied, therefore the rate of Council
Tax payable is 150%.
A long term empty premium is charged in line with the
Council's policy on long-term empty properties. This is to
encourage empty properties to be brought back into use.
If you have a property which is in a poor
state of repair, or undergoing substantial refurbishment work or
structural alterations, the Council will have to charge you for it
unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes it from the
Council Tax list. However the VOA will only do this if it is
derelict and uninhabitable, or if the work is substantial and the
property is being rebuilt or structurally altered.
A property that has no occupants but is furnished is not entitled
to any discount.
Empty properties – who
is responsible for the Council Tax?
If there are no residents in a property, the
owner is liable. ‘Owner’ in this context means a
- has a ‘material interest’ in the whole or any part of the
- at least part of the dwelling or, as the case may be, of the
part concerned is not subject to a material interest inferior to
‘Material interest’ means a freehold interest
or a leasehold interest which was granted for a term of six
months or more – so sometimes, a tenant can be classed as
‘the owner’ if they have a tenancy agreement for six months or
more. However, if a tenant's six-month tenancy has ended and their
tenancy has become a 'rolling' periodic tenancy, they can't be held
liable for any empty charges once they move out.
Please note: there is no right of appeal to the Valuation
Tribunal about the council’s decision not to allow a discount for
empty properties in South Staffordshire.
In support of the governments initiative to tackle the shortfall
in national housing, South Staffordshire Council are currently
undertaking a review of empty Council Tax properties. To find out
more.. Click here.
|Telephone: (01902) 696664
||South Staffordshire Council
|Fax: (01902) 696630