Empty property

If you own a property that is empty you may be entitled to a council tax reduction. This will depend on how long your property has been empty and what is happening to it.

Apply for a council tax discount

Class D discount - dwellings requiring or undergoing major repairs or structural alteration

A 25% discount is applicable for 12 months, provided the property remains vacant and:

  • it requires or is undergoing major repair work to make it habitable,
  • it is undergoing structural alteration, or
  • it has undergone major repair works to make it habitable or undergone structural alteration, and less than six months have elapsed after the work was substantially completed

Class B discount - second home

The full charge for council tax will be payable on all furnished properties that are not an individual’s sole or main residence and they are not restricted by a planning condition from inhabiting them.

Class C discount - dwellings which become vacant

Providing a dwelling remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished it will receive a 100% discount for one month. This will be from the date that the furniture was removed.

If a dwelling that is entitled to this discount becomes occupied or substantially furnished again for a period of less than six weeks during this month, after which it falls empty again, it will only continue to receive the discount for any part of that remaining month.

For any property that remains empty for two years or more, a 100% premium will be payable on top of the normal council tax charged (i.e. 200%) to owners of homes in these categories.

  • if you tell us that your property is empty we will arrange for one of our inspectors to visit it and check. After that he or she will visit it again on a regular basis. We therefore need to know your telephone number or email address to arrange a visit
  • if a pitch or mooring is normally used as someone's main home, it is exempt while it is not used. However, if your caravan or boat is used for leisure pursuits, business rates are payable on the pitch or mooring. The site owner will normally pay this
  • if a property is used as a show house business rates will be payable until it is used for housing
  • we will not accept a backdated claim that a property has been empty where Camden has not been given the opportunity to inspect the property
  • empty property strategy

The former home of someone who has died

If someone dies, their former home is exempt if:

  • it remains no one's main home 
  • it was not anyone else's main home prior to their death
  • the deceased was either the owner or, a tenant where the executor continues to pay rent
  • there is no joint owner
  • it was not a second home

The exemption ceases if the property:

  • is sold 
  • handed back to a landlord 
  • handed over to a beneficiary 
  • occupied for six weeks or longer 
  • six months has expired since either probate or letters of administration have been granted

If someone occupies the property as his or her main home for less than six weeks, the person occupying it pays Council Tax during the period concerned. However, it can be exempt again when it becomes unoccupied.

The deceased person need not have occupied the property immediately prior to his or her death, provided no one else has lived in it as his or her main home before they died. For example, where someone dies in a nursing home that has become his or her main residence and no one else has lived in their former home.

In the case where someone dies leaving just one other adult living in the property, the other resident will be liable to pay the Council Tax and would be entitled to a discount.

Go to council tax discounts, exemptions and reductions for more information.

To complete your application you must print off a copy of the completed form and return to us at the address on the form. 

Start your application for this exemption/discount online 

Property where the only occupiers are under the age of 18

If everyone who lives in your home is under 18, the owner of your home can claim exemption from paying Council Tax until you, or someone living with you, reaches that age.

Exemption may continue for another reason such as exclusive occupation by full time students or school leavers. Where the property ceases to be exempt, the person paying the Council Tax may still be entitled to a discount.

To complete your application you must print off a copy of the completed form and return to us at the address on the form. 

Start your application for this exemption/discount

Annexes

Unoccupied annexes

A property is exempt from council tax if:

  • it is no one’s main home
  • it is a self-contained annexe
  • it has its own band
  • owing to planning controls it cannot be let or sold separately

Annexes occupied by disabled or elderly relatives

A property is exempt from council tax if:

  • it has its own band 
  • it adjoins your home
  • it is occupied by a relative* of yours who is disabled or, elderly

*a relative for this purpose is: your spouse, a parent, a child, a grandparent, a grandchild, a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle, a nephew or niece, a great-grandparent, a great grandchild, a great uncle or a great aunt, a great nephew or a great niece, a great-great grand-parent, a great-great-grandchild, a great-great-uncle, a great-great-aunt, a great-great-nephew or a great-great-niece.

To qualify as a relative:

  • you do not need to be related by blood nor
  • do a man and woman living together as husband and wife have to be married

To complete your application you must print off a copy of the completed form and return to us at the address on the form.

Apply for a council tax discount

 

 

Reduction for annexes

From 1 April 2014 annexes which are used by the occupier of the main house as part of the main home, or annexes which are occupied by a relative of the person living in the main house will be entitled to a 50 per cent reduction in the Council Tax payable on the annexe.

The 50 percent reduction is on top of any other discount you or your relative may be entitled to. For example, if your adult son is living in the annexe on his own. He will be liable for Council Tax and be entitled to a 25 percent single occupier discount and a 50 percent annexe discount.

The criteria for the annexe discount is:

The annexe must form part of a single property which includes at least one other property. ie. the annexe must be within the grounds of the main house (not necessarily attached) and must be included in the title deeds of the main house and not registered separately.

And either:

 

  • The annexe is being used by the resident of the main house, as part of their main home, or
  • The annexe is lived in by a relative of the person who lives in the main house. For this purpose a relative is defined as: a partner, parent, child, step child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew and niece (also includes great grandparent, great grandchild etc. and great great grandparent etc).

 

To apply for this reduction contact the council tax service

Domestic properties owned by the Ministry of Defence

Properties that would normally be occupied by service personnel are exempt from Council Tax, but the Ministry of Defence makes payments to local councils in lieu of Council Tax.

To find out more about this  contact the council tax service.

Properties owned by charities

If a charity owns an unoccupied property used for charitable purposes, the property is exempt for six months. Any period of temporary occupation of less than six weeks is ignored when counting how long a property has been unoccupied.

To find out more about this  contact the council tax service.

Where occupation is prohibited by law

If you own a property that is unoccupied and is subject to a compulsory purchase order, it is exempt from Council Tax. However, if someone moves into the property, such as squatters, they would have to pay Council Tax.

To find out more about this  contact the council tax service.

The former home of someone who is bankrupt

If you are the owner of an unoccupied property in the capacity of a trustee in bankruptcy, the property is exempt from Council Tax.

To find out more about this  contact the council tax service.

Repossessed properties

If your property has been repossessed it is exempt from Council Tax, provided no one lives in it until it is sold.

If you are a mortgage lender, please let us know immediately if you take possession of a property, or sell one that you have repossessed.

To complete your application you must print off a copy of the completed form and return to us at the address on the form. 

Start your application for this exemption/discount online