8 ways council tax can be avoided on empty property

In the UK, council tax is levied by local authorities on properties within their area.  

If you own an empty property, you may be required to pay council tax on it. However, there are certain circumstances under which you may be able to avoid paying council tax on an empty property:

  1. The property is exempt: There are certain types of properties that are exempt from council tax. These include properties that are owned by a charity, properties that are occupied by a student, and properties that are being used as a care home. If the empty property falls into one of these categories, you may be able to avoid paying council tax.
  2. The owner is in prison: If the owner of the property is currently serving a prison sentence, the property may be exempt from council tax.
  3. The owner is in care: If the owner of the property is currently receiving care in a hospital or nursing home, the property may be exempt from council tax.
  4. The owner is serving in the armed forces: If the owner is currently serving in the armed forces, the property may be exempt from council tax.
  5. The owner is a diplomat: If the owner of the property is a diplomat with immunity from council tax, the property may be exempt.
  6. The property is unoccupied because it is undergoing major repairs or renovations: If the property is unoccupied because it is undergoing major repairs or renovations, you may be able to get a discount on the council tax. This is called an “empty property discount.”
  7. The property is in probate: If the property is awaiting probate to be granted before it is sold, you may be able to get a discount on the council tax. This is called a “probate discount.”
  8. The property is empty whilst it is being sold: If the property is unoccupied because it is being sold and you are actively trying to find a buyer, you may be able to get a discount on the council tax. This is called a “sale discount.”

It is important to note that these exemptions and discounts may vary depending on the local authority. You should check with the local authority to see what exemptions and discounts are available in the area.

In order to apply for an exemption or discount, you will need to provide evidence to support the claim. This may include documents such as a letter from a hospital or nursing home, a letter from the armed forces, or a copy of the probate documents.

If you are unable to get an exemption or discount and you are unable to pay the council tax, you may be able to get a council tax reduction. This is a reduction in the amount of council tax that you are required to pay based on the income and circumstances. To apply for a council tax reduction, you will need to contact the local authority.

In summary, there are several ways in which you may be able to avoid paying council tax on an empty property in the UK. These include exemptions for certain types of properties, discounts for properties that are undergoing major repairs or renovations, and reductions for those who are unable to pay their council tax. It is important to check with the local authority to see what exemptions and discounts are available in the area and to provide evidence to support the claim.

Need insurance on empty residential property?  Insuristic can help, check out these pages for more information:

About the Author

Rob Faulkner CEO of Insuristic

Hi, I'm Rob, CEO and Founder of Insuristic. My mission is to make insurance easier to understand and buy online.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) which demonstrates I have a solid technical understanding of Insurance and have committed to continuous professional development. I am also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and hold the a Chartered Insurance Broker status.

Over the last 27 years, I have worked for insurers, insurance brokers and insurance technology businesses, specialising in product, sales and marketing.

You can find out more about me on my author page.

Follow us on Social

Insuristic Logo

Insuristic Limited is an Appointed Representative of SJL (Worcester) Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with the reference number 763599.  This can be checked by visiting https://register.fca.org.uk/s/

Registered Office: Unit 2, 262 Walsall Road, Cannock, England, WS11 0JL.  Registered in England and Wales No: 13926650. 

Insuristic is a registered trademark. ©Copyright 2023 Insuristic Limited.  All Rights Reserved.

Interested in Insuristic Estate Protect?
Interested in Probate Pro?