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Newly built homes

A newly-build house which is unoccupied and unfurnished is entitled to an initial one-month exemption from council tax, providing it remains empty.

After this time, the full charge becomes payable by the owner until the property is sold or someone moves in.

We will visit properties while they are being built to see how much progress is being made. When the majority of the work has been done we will consider sending the owner a completion notice. This will give a date no more than three months in the future by which we believe the property may be completed. This will be the date from which the council tax liability will start.

You may find you are sent two different completion notices – one from our revenues service, and one from building control. The latter is for building regulation rather than council tax purposes.

We realise this may be confusing, but it is important to remember that although they are both called completion notices, the reasons for their issue are completely different.

We will be responsible for fixing the completion date. You can help us set the correct date by letting us inspect the property, to see what work still needs to be done. We will contact you to arrange a visit, but if no internal inspection is possible we will send you a completion notice based on an external visit only.

If you do not agree with the completion date you can appeal to a valuation tribunal, but you must do this within 28 days. We recommend you also discuss the matter with us and we will consider changing the date dependent on the information you give. The completion notice will give you full details of how the process works.

If you rent or sell the property at any time, you need to give us the full name of the new owners or tenants within 21 days of the change. We will update our records and send you a final bill or a refund of any overpaid charge. 

If you use a newly-built property as a show home, you will be charged business rates instead of council tax until the property is sold.