Relief from the Long Term Empty Property Tariff

The council tax rate is doubled when a property has been unoccupied for 12 months or more, this is called the Long Term Empty Property Tariff. There are a number of tariff reliefs that are available.

You may qualify for a council tax reduction if your property is unoccupied for a short time. However, the Long Term Empty Property Tariff will be applied after 12 months or more. The charges for water and waste water are not affected by this tariff.

The tariff is designed to encourage people to deal with empty properties and even applies if a property is derelict or in very poor condition. You can save money or bring in rental income by bringing an empty property back into use.


You may get relief from the tariff if:

  • you are actively working to bring the property back into occupation
  • the property is being actively marketed for let or sale
  • the property is in disrepair and has recently been sold or changed hands
  • you receive housing benefit or a council tax reduction
  • you inherited the property
  • there has been a delay in planning permission.

You may be exempt from the Long Term Empty Tariff if your property is a:

  • second home
  • purpose built holiday home
  • job related home

Apply for a long term empty tariff

You will need to provide:

  • information about the property
  • evidence to support your application

You can also call 030 33 33 3005 or visit one of our customer service centres .

What happens next

We aim to deal with applications within 14 days of receiving all of the relevant information. Your account will be updated as soon as a decision is made.

You might also want to look into the options and support available to bring an empty property back into use:

Changes in your circumstances

You should always let us know if your circumstances change for any reason.

Page last updated: 31/01/2024
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