Council Tax exemption change

Hi, I currently receive weekly reports from council tax with all properties that have an empty and unfurnished discount applied. From April 1st the City of York Council is abolishing the 50% empty property discount. This will obviously impact on the information I receive and the accuracy of it

I am planning to meet with the CT staff so that they are all aware of the impact the changes will have on empty property figures/work. I have already spoken with them and they are creating a "code" to highlight properties that they are told are empty. My queries are:

  • How do other authorities that have abolished the discount record the information?
  • Have the number of reported empty properties increased/decreased because of any change?
  • What impact has any change had on NHB figures?

Also is there anything blatently obvious that I am missing or can do when the changes kick in?



Council tax - discounts, access to info etc

Hi Gary
We changed ours last year to 100% charge on all properties after 3mths of being empty and 150% for all properties over 2yrs empty.  There are now special codes for empty 3mths-2yrs, 2yrs plus empty, second homes, uninhabitable and furnished but no-ones main home.  The figures dropped dramatically especially for the 2yrs plus empty because of the increased charge.  We did inspect properties if we thought the owner wasn't telling the truth about them being re-ocupied just to check.  It now makes it much easier for me to chase owners and have the correct breakdown for our empties and the 150% does in deed act as a tool to encourage owners to bring the properties back into use quicker. If you want to talk more email me at
Emma Baker

Council Tax should still be able to provide a figure for homes empty over 6 months which are empty and unfurnished, as they still need to report on this for the CTB returns in October for new homes bonus. So they should just be able to pull this report for you instead.
As with the other comment, 150% charge has increased the number of 2nd homes, or 'furnished empties'. However I suspect a proportion of these were furnished before the change, but before it was cheaper to say it was empty, where as now it is cheaper to say it is furnished.
Make sure you acompany the change with a review. People will still say their property is empty so they recieve the 2 month 100% discount or what ever you offer. But when it goes to 100% payable, as it make no difference to what they pay when it becomes occupied they may not tell the Council, as they pay 100% anyway.