Changes to Council Tax discounts/charges for unoccupied and unfurnished properties

Cheshire East Council is currently sending letters to a number of residents who will be affected by the changes to Council Tax discounts/ charges for unoccupied and unfurnished properties coming into effect on 1 April 2019.

The Local Government Finance Act 2012 introduced greater flexibility for councils to determine discounts on Council Tax charges for unoccupied and unfurnished properties. This Council has decided to implement certain changes and this information explains them.

Properties available on the rental market

Cheshire East Council currently allows a 100% discount for up to 8 weeks for private landlords in order to maintain property standards.

From 1 April 2019 Cheshire East Council will allow a 100% discount for up to 6 weeks for unoccupied and unfurnished properties available to let on the rental market.

Where a landlord advises us of any changes to occupancy by completing the Report a change of tenancy form on the Council Tax website the appropriate discount will automatically be applied.

Long term empty and unoccupied properties from 1 April 2019

At present Cheshire East Council currently charge a 50% Empty Home premium on properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for two years or more. The Council Tax payer has to pay 150% of the Council Tax charge.

From 1 April 2019 pursuant to Section 11b of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended by the Local Government Finance Act 2012 and Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018 Cheshire East Council by a resolution dated 13 December 2018 did determine that in respect of the whole of the Cheshire East area properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more will be subject to a 100% premium effective from 1April 2019.The Council Tax payer will have to pay 200% of the Council Tax charge

Many people in Cheshire East need homes. Land to build new houses is scarce, so reusing empty homes is a good source of housing. If you are interested in letting your property visit the Council’s website on empty homes to contact the Empty Homes Officer or for further details on the best way to bring your empty property back into use. There is also guidance on an empty homes loan of up to £20,000 should works be required. (Conditions Apply).