Empty properties

If you own an empty property you still have to pay council tax on that property. If the property has been empty for more than two years, there is an additional council tax charge, known as a premium. You may be eligible for a discount if your'e in the middle of a renovation project, or if the home is unhabitual.  

Major repairs

We may be able to give you 100% off your council tax bill for up to 12 months if you're in the middle of doing some major repairs on your empty property.

We're only able to give you this exemption if the property is not being lived in.

For you to not pay Council Tax on this property for up to a year we will need to come and visit the property, ideally before any work starts, and assess the situation. We may also need to see proof of the work required, for example a building surveyor's report or a builder's formal estimate. We will let you know what we require once we have spoken with you.

If you feel your property qualifies for this complete exemption, simply fill in our online form:

Empty and unfurnished

We may be able to reduce your Council Tax bill by 100% for up to one month if you own a property that no-one is living in and it has no furniture.

To be able to give you this exemption we may need to come and visit the property to check it's definitely empty.

If we decide your property is definitely not lived in by anyone then the discount can start from the day it first became empty and continues until either:

  • It's got someone living in it
  • It's furnished
  • The one-month period is up

Don't forget that if the property is furnished or someone starts living there before the discount ends, and then it becomes empty again within six weeks, the discount can only be given for the remainder of the original one month. The one month discount will only start again if the property has been occupied or furnished for a period of six weeks or more.

If you feel you're entitled to this discount then please email council.tax@gravesham.gov.uk or call on 01474 337700 for advice.

Long-term empty

If you are the owner of an empty property (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) and it has been empty for more than two years you will have to pay a Council Tax premium of 100%. Properties that have been empty for more than five years will have to pay a premium of 200% and from 1 April 2021 properties empty for more than ten years will have to pay a premium of 300%.

For example, if the basic council tax charge for your empty property is £2,500 and it has been empty more than ten years, the amount you will be liable to pay from 1 April 2021 will be £10,000 until the property is brought back into occupation.

Properties classed as annexes and those that are owned by members of the armed forces who are living in job-related accommodation do not have to pay the premium. There are currently no other exceptions although we have discretion to reduce the amount a person is liable to pay depending on the circumstances of the case.