Council Tax discounts/charges for unoccupied and unfurnished properties

There is flexibility across Councils to determine discounts on Council Tax charges for unoccupied and unfurnished properties.

Properties available on the rental market

We currently allow a 100% discount for up to 4 weeks for private landlords in order to maintain property standards.

Apply for landlord discount

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 2021

We currently charge a 100% Empty Home premium on properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for between 2 and 5 years. The Council Tax payer has to pay 200% of the Council Tax charge.

Properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for between 5 and 10 years are subject to a 200% premium. The Council Tax payer has to pay 300% of the Council Tax charge.

Properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for at least 10 years will be subject to a 300% premium effective from 1 April 2021. The Council Taxpayer will have to pay 400% of the Council Tax charge.

Premium charge details and charge to customer
DescriptionPremium ChargeDetailsCharge to Customer
Long term empty premium between 2 and 5 years 100% Unoccupied / unfurnished between 2 and 5 years 200%
Long term empty premium between 5 and 10 years 200% Unoccupied / unfurnished between 5 and 10 years 300%
Long term empty premium 10 years or more 300% Unoccupied / unfurnished for at least 10 years 400%

Substantially unfurnished -  is not defined in the legislation.

We consider it to mean that either no furniture or no more than 1 removable item of furniture per room (excluding bathroom) to remain in the property i.e. sufficient furniture has been removed to leave the property incapable of occupation. (It does not make any difference whether the furniture is stored all in one room or throughout the property).

We would disregard carpets, curtains, and white goods as furniture.

Many people in Cheshire East need a home and reusing empty properties is a good source of housing. If you are an owner of an empty property and would like advice on:

  • becoming a landlord, or;
  • selling your property, or;
  • repairing your property,

visit the Empty Homes section on the Council’s website for further information, and contact details for you to speak with our Private Sector Housing Team.

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