Unoccupied property requiring or undergoing major repairs/structural alteration - prescribed Class D discount
Please note: From 1 April 2024, due to a change in policy, this discount will no longer be available. If a property is unoccupied and undergoing major repair, the full Council Tax charge will become due and payable. Depending how long the property has been empty, will depend on the level of Council Tax charged. Find out more about the long-term empty property premium charge.
An unoccupied property which requires major repair work or structural alterations to make it habitable may be eligible for this discount. Each case is decided upon the facts relating to the physical condition of the property and the nature of the work that is needed. This discount can only apply for a period of up to 12 months to the property, irrespective of ownership. This discount ends if the property becomes occupied or furnished.
Please note, if you are resident in a mobile home or touring caravan within the grounds of the property whilst works are carried out, the mobile home/touring caravan is deemed to be an extension to the property. As such, you will not qualify for the uninhabitable discount.
You must continue to pay your Council Tax as billed whilst an application for this discount is being considered. Additional information should be supplied to support your application, such as structural reports, builders reports, surveys etc. In some cases, a Visiting Officer may also need to inspect the property.
When considering major/structural repairs, consideration will be given to the following;
- Structural repairs to the main structure of the property, i.e. major roof repairs, replacing defective solid floor/ceiling joists, rebuilding internal/external walls. Minor alterations to the structure such as roof windows would not be deemed qualifying works.
- The time it will take and the cost of the repairs.
- General refurbishment and modernisation, such as replacing a kitchen and bathroom will not be considered.
The types of works that would be deemed renovation/modernisation works and would not qualify can be found below.
- Plumbing, heating or rewiring, including repairs and renewals of services
- Replacement/repairs of bathroom and kitchen or any other fitting/fixtures.
- Timber or damp proof treatments.
- Re-plastering and redecoration
- Maintenance, for example re-pointing, window/door replacement.
Properties that have been empty and unfurnished for a total period of two years or more will attract a 100% surcharge from 1 April 2019. This effectively means the council tax bill will be double. The surcharge was previously 50% but in February 2019 this council approved a resolution to increase the surcharge to 100% from 1 April 2019, in line with new legislation allowing councils to do this. With effect from 1 April 2020 any property remaining empty and unfurnished for a period of five years and more attracts a surcharge of 200%. With effect from 1 April 2021 there will be a 300% surcharge for properties empty and unfurnished for ten years or more. Find out more about the long-term empty property premium charge.