Reductions for empty properties
There are a number of property reductions we can give to reduce your council tax charge.
- If your property is unoccupied and unfurnished you may be able to get a 100% discount for 1 month and 25% discount for the second month. The full charge will then be payable.
- A 50% discount may apply where an annexe is occupied by a relative of a council tax payer for the main property or where it is used as part of the main property.
- Unoccupied and substantially unfurnished dwellings where major repair work is required to make it habitable, or structural alterations are being undertaken, are subject to a 100% discount for a maximum period of 6 months. Under the fit to rent scheme this can be extended to 12 months.
If your property falls into one of the categories below, you may be exempt from all or part of the council tax. There are several classes of exemption, some of which only apply for a certain length of time. To apply for property exemptions please contact us at Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1PX, call 01285 623000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classification descriptions for council tax exemption on empty properties:
- Class B - Unoccupied and owned by a charity. This exemption applies whether or not the
property contains furniture. (This exemption applies for a maximum of 6 months
only). On expiry of the exemption period the property will become liable for a
- Class D - Empty due to person being in prison (except for non payment of Council Tax or a
fine). The property may be either furnished or unfurnished but the exemption
cannot apply if there is someone still living in the property.
- Class E - Empty due to person having gone to live in a hospital or care home.
- Class F - Council tax payer deceased (leaving property unoccupied). Exemption continues
for up to six months after grant of probate or letters of administration. On
expiry of the exemption period the property will become liable for a 100%
- Class G -Occupation prohibited by law. Exemption applies where the property remains
- Class H - Unoccupied property being held for a minister of religion.
- Class I - Person living elsewhere to receive personal care (leaving property empty).
- Class J - Person living elsewhere to provide personal care (leaving property empty).
- Class K - Property left empty by a student, where a student is the owner/tenant of the
property and, when last occupied was the sole or main residence of the student
and no one else other than students lived there. The exemption applies as long
as the person remains a student.
- Class L - Unoccupied property where a Mortgage lender is in possession of property.
Exemption continues until either possession is relinquished or the property is
- Class Q - Property left empty by a bankrupt person. The exemption applies whether the
unoccupied dwelling is furnished or not.
- Class R - Unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring.
- Class T - Unoccupied separately banded property forming part of another property or
situated within the curtilage of another property, which cannot be let
separately without a breach of the Town & Country Planning Act. This will
often apply to a granny annexe and applies whether the unoccupied dwelling is
furnished or not.
Classification descriptions for council tax exemption on occupied properties:
- Class M - Students’ Halls of Residence. Exemption applies to occupied properties.
- Class N - Property occupied only by students.
- Class O - UK Armed Forces accommodation.
- Class P - Visiting Forces accommodation.
- Class S - Property occupied only by persons under 18 years of age.
- Class U - Property occupied only by severely mentally impaired person(s). This exemption
does not apply to residential homes.
- Class V - Main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity.
- Class W - Occupied annexe to an occupied property. Exemption applies if the annexe forms
part of a single property including at least one other dwelling and is the sole
or main residence of a dependent relative (i.e. someone over 65 years of age, or
a person who is either severely mentally impaired or substantially and
permanently disabled) of a person who is resident in that other dwelling.
Please note: the property may need to meet some conditions before it can be exempt from council tax.
Long term empty properties
Properties that have been empty for two years or more are subject to a Long Term Empty Premium of 100% from 1 April 2019. From 1 April 2020, properties empty for five years or more will incur a 200% levy and from 1 April 2021 those empty for ten years or more will have to pay a 300% premium.
There are exemptions from the premium for properties that are genuinely for sale or let, annexes and those owned by members of the armed forces.
For more information on how the Council is trying to reduce the number of long term empty properties in the district, please visit our Empty Homes page.