These are the terms for property occupancy:
- Empty - A property that is not anyone's main home and is unfurnished.
- Unoccupied - A furnished property that is not anyone's main home.
- Occupied - A property that is lived in as someone's main home.
Empty properties are subject to the full Council Tax charge except in the following circumstances:
Class C Discount
If a property is empty and unfurnished, the owner can apply for a Class C discount. This is a 75% reduction for the first three months that a property is empty. If the property remains empty after three months, no further discount will apply and the owner becomes responsible for the full charge. If the property remains empty after 2 years then it will be subject to an Empty Council Tax Premium of 50%. This means the owner of the property will be liable for 150% charge whilst it remains empty and unfurnished.
Class D Discount
An empty property which requires, or is undergoing major repairs to make it liveable, or is being structurally altered, may qualify for 25% discount for the first 12 months that the property is empty. After the 12 months has expired there will be no further discount and the owner will be responsible for the full charge.
Empty property premium
From 1 April 2015, if a property is empty and unfurnished and has been empty for two years or more, it will attract an empty property premium of 50% of the Council Tax charge. The Council Tax bill will be 150% of the relevant charge.
Second home discount
There is no discount for second homes.
However, if you live away from your home as a condition of your employment (for example, armed forces personnel being posted away from home, either here or abroad) then you may qualify for 50% discount.