Guide Council Tax discounts and exemptions information

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7. Empty property discounts

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties - class C discount

To qualify, the property must be both unoccupied and unfurnished. You get a 100 per cent discount for up to three months. When the three months finishes we class it as "long-term empty" and you pay 100 per cent. 

Please note that this discount relates to the property. For example, if there is a change in liable person, the new liable party is only entitled to the remaining part of the three month period, as appropriate.

An additional premium of 100 per cent will be added when the property has been continuously empty for two years unless:

  • the property is empty because the person resides in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence
  • it is an annexe to the main house that is being used as part of the main residence 

Long term empty homes premium

From 1 April 2020 you pay the full charge and an additional premium of:

  • 100% if a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for two to five years
  • 200%  if a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for five years or more

The premium increases again from 1 April 2021 to 300% for properties empty for 10 years or more.

*An empty property (for Council Tax purposes) is one that is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. Certain exclusions apply.

How to apply 

  • email counciltax@eastdevon.gov.uk
  • telephone 01395 517446
  • write to Council Tax, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ

By law you must tell within 21 days of any change that may affect your entitlement to this discount. To falsely claim a discount is a criminal offence and we may prosecute.

Unoccupied property undergoing or requiring major structural alterations or repairs - class D discount

A property which requires major repair work to make it habitable may be eligible for this discount. An empty property (for Council Tax purposes) is one that is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished. You get a 50% discount for

  • up to twelve months, or
  • up to six months after the completion of works, to the maximum twelve month period. 

Examples

1)      A Class D discount is granted but works are completed after three months. You will only receive a further six months discount from the date work is completed so the discount will apply for up to nine months.

2)      A Class D discount is granted and works take nine months to complete. In this case the discount would last up to the full twelve month period.

Before the discount can be awarded we need you to provide evidence of the works that need to be done or are underway. This evidence could include photographs, builders statements, proof of purchase of materials.  An inspection of the property to check the works may be required; we will advise you of this.

Each case is considered on an individual basis taking into consideration the physical condition of the property and the nature of the work that is needed.

This discount ends immediately if the property becomes occupied or furnished.

Building Regulations approval

Please be aware that Building Regulations approval is required for most building works and renovation projects. We recommend that you contact Building Control.

How to apply

  • Email counciltax@eastdevon.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01395 517446
  • Write to Council Tax, East Devon District Council, Blackdown House, Border Road, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton, EX14 1EJ

Retrospective applications will be considered. We will require evidence of the completed works such as receipts and photos and a list of works.

By law you must tell within 21 days of any change that may affect your entitlement to this discount. To falsely claim a discount is a criminal offence and we may prosecute.

Empty properties can also be exempt from paying Council Tax.