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Vacant Properties

Properties that are vacant (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) for more than 3 months are charged 100% Council Tax. 

Properties that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished are now charged 150% after 2 years. There are exceptions to this, including properties that are empty because other accommodation is provided by the Ministry of Defence and unoccupied annexes.

Exempt Class A and C (see Unoccupied Properties - Exemption Class Descriptions*) have been abolished. Properties that require major repair work to render them habitable will only qualify for an exemption up to 3 months.

Properties that are "second homes" (unoccupied and furnished) are charged 100% Council Tax. 

Job Related dwellings may still be entitled to a 50% discount if the property is provided for the better performance of an employee's duties.

Changes to Council Tax Exemptions and Discounts Questions and Answers

Unoccupied properties Prior to 1 April 2013

Where nobody lives in a property, or it is used as a second home, there may be a liability for Council Tax. The liable person will be the person entitled to occupy the property (usually the owner). The amount payable will be the "property element" of the tax, e.g. 50 per cent of the charge.

In certain circumstances, some domestic properties are exempt from council tax. Most exemptions relate to properties left unoccupied for specific reasons, however, in some cases an exemption can apply to a property that is occupied.

A maximum period of exemption will apply in some cases and normally exemptions run from the date a property becomes unoccupied. If an exemption was already in effect before a property was purchased, a new owner may only be entitled to the exemption for the remaining time that the exemption is allowed.

Erewash Borough Council is required by law to send a notice where a 'zero' charge applies and also when a property transfers from one class of exemption to another.  Where a maximum period of exemption applies, a bill for council tax charges due for the period after the exemption will be issued either just before or at the time the exemption expires.

Unoccupied or occupied properties may qualify for an exemption if it meets the criteria for one of the following 21 classes (Class B to Class W), for specified periods:

Unoccupied properties - Exemption Class Descriptions

Unoccupied properties owned and last used by a charity (exempt for a maximum of six months).

Properties left unoccupied by people detained in prison (except for payment of council tax or a fine) or other place determined by order of a court.

Properties left unoccupied by long stay hospital patients and also by people who move permanently into a hospital, nursing home or residential home where they receive care and/or treatment.  Please provide the details of when and where the person has been admitted and we will confirm residence with the establishment before granting the reduction.   

Properties left unoccupied following the death of a sole owner or tenant where a grant of probate/letters of administration has not yet been obtained (applies for a maximum period of up to six months from when such a grant has been obtained).

Properties where occupation is prohibited by law.

Properties held vacant for future occupation by a minister of religion.

Properties left unoccupied because a person, who would otherwise be liable, has gone to live somewhere else in order to receive personal care.

Properties left unoccupied because a person, who would otherwise be liable, has gone to live somewhere else in order to provide personal care for someone.  The liable person must have been away for this reason since they left the property.

Properties left unoccupied by a student who left in order to study elsewhere, and the vacant property was their sole or main residence.

Unoccupied properties that have been repossessed be a mortgage provider.

Unoccupied properties in the possession of a trustee in bankruptcy.

A property consisting of a pitch or a mooring which is not occupied by a caravan or a boat.

Properties forming part of another dwelling, such as granny flats or annexes, which cannot be separately let.

Occupied properties - class description

Student halls of residence.

Properties occupied wholly by students.

O  Armed Forces accommodation owned by the Ministry of Defence.

Visiting Forces accommodation.

Properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18.

Properties occupied only by a person/persons who is/are severely mentally impaired.

Properties occupied by diplomats, persons who have diplomatic immunity and certain members of their household.

An annexe or similar self-contained part of a property which is occupied by an elderly, disabled or severely mentally impaired relative of the resident(s) living in the remaining part of the property.

These classes are stated in broad terms and within each of the classes indicated, a number of conditions may need to be met and evidence provided before an exemption can be granted. Further information regarding reductions is also available on the Council tax discounts page and the Council tax forms pages of our website.

Erewash Borough Council

Erewash Borough Council, Town Hall, Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5RP 0115 907 2244