Unoccupied homes

Council tax is payable on unoccupied properties in some circumstances.

Further information

Property discounts

If you have a property that is unoccupied and unfurnished, there is no charge for the first calendar month. After this, the charge to pay goes up to the full amount, unless an exemption applies (see exemptions.)

This discount always starts from the day the property first becomes unoccupied and unfurnished. If you buy or rent a property that is already unoccupied, this discount does not start again when you acquire it, as it applies to the property and not the individual.

The empty property must be occupied for at least six weeks before a further discount can be applied.

If you have a property that is a second home, or furnished but not occupied as any person’s main home, you will be charged 100 per cent with immediate effect, unless an exemption applies (see exemptions.)

These changes were part of the Government’s Localism Agenda, and are in support of the council’s Empty Homes Strategy to help encourage the quick letting or reoccupation of properties in Leicester.

Long-term unoccupied levy (premium)

April 2019, homes empty for more than two years will be charged double the council tax of occupied homes. 

From April 2020, homes empty for more than five years will be charged three times the council tax of occupied homes. 

From April 2021, homes empty for more than 10 years will be charged four times the council tax of occupied homes. 

Two classes of dwellings are exempt from the empty homes premium charge. These are:

  • A dwelling which would otherwise be the sole or main residence of a member of the armed services, who is absent from the property as a result of such service.
  • A dwelling which forms part of a single property that is being treated by a resident of that property as part of the main dwelling.