Unoccupied properties

From 1 April 2013 empty properties, including second homes that are not job-related, attract the full council tax charge unless other exemptions are applicable. Where a property becomes unoccupied due to a death, or where the person solely liable for the council tax of an empty property dies, there is an exemption for Council Tax until:

  • the property becomes occupied by another person 
  • on disposal of the property by the personal representatives of the deceased, whether to a beneficiary or upon sale
  • by the re-letting of a rented property so that the personal representative of the deceased is no longer liable to pay the rent (or licence fee) 
  • where the property, or the tenancy, has not been disposed of six months after the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration, in which case the full council tax becomes payable
  • if you and your household leave your property temporarily empty with the intention of returning, the property will not be classed as empty/unoccupied and you continue to be liable for the Council Tax as you were before leaving.

Empty Property Premium

The Council Tax Empty Property Premium was introduced by Parliament in 2013, as an incentive to push empty property back in to use. An additional 50% Council Tax has been levied on top of the normal Council Tax charge for properties which remained unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

From the 1 April 2019, this charge increased to 100% on top of your normal Council Tax if your property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

If your property is unoccupied but remains furnished the additional premiums will not be applicable and you will be charged at 100% of the relevant Council Tax band.

The following additional charges will apply if your property remains unoccupied and unfurnished;

  • two years but less than five years = 100%
  • five years to less than 10 years = 200%
  • 10 years or more = 300%

For example, if from April 2020, your property has been empty for more than five years, you will be required to pay your normal Council Tax charge plus an additional 200%. 

If you have recently rented or sold the property, you can advise us of the details at Report a change of address.

If you wish to rent your property there are many benefits in partnering with the Council to utilise your property through various schemes, including guaranteed rent, having an additional income and management support.

Let2Bex is the London Borough of Bexley working in partnership with local landlords to collectively meet Bexley's growing housing needs in a sustainable and collaborative way.