The Council tax payable on an empty property will depend on the circumstances.

Empty and unfurnished properties

  • unoccupied properties needing major repairs or having structural alterations are entitled to a 50% discount for 12 months
  • unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties are entitled to a 100% discount for 1 month.  This discount is granted from the date the property became unoccupied and unfurnished, which may not be the date of purchase.

To make a claim complete either the:

Unoccupied and unfurnished property form


Properties undergoing major repairs or structural alteration form

Unoccupied but furnished properties

There is no council tax discount. The full council tax charge is due from the date the property became unoccupied.

Empty property exemptions

Visit the Council Tax exemptions page for information on unoccupied properties which are exempt from paying Council Tax.

Uninhabitable property

The council tax bill will be reduced by 50% for a maximum of twelve months providing the empty property is either:

  • undergoing major repair work or structural alteration, or
  • needs major repair work to make it habitable.

The 50% discount will not apply unless the work is structural or major.

To receive the major repair/structural alterations discount you need to notify us promptly of any structural alterations because we may need to visit the property.

After twelve months, the full council tax charge is payable even if your property is still uninhabitable.

Empty property premium

We are committed to reducing the number of empty homes in Preston and on 13 December 2018, we reviewed our policy for charges on empty homes. We are introducing changes over the next three years to help us do this.

Properties which have been empty and unfurnished for two years or more are currently charged an additional 50% premium on top of the full Council Tax. From 1 April 2019, such properties will be charged an additional 100% premium on top of the full Council Tax.

Starting on 1 April 2020, properties which have been empty and unfurnished for five years or more will have an additional 200% premium charged on top of the full Council Tax.

Additionally, from 1 April 2021, a premium of 300% will be charged on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for ten years or more.

Exceptions may apply for empty annexes, property left empty by service personnel and in other locally determined circumstances.

For more information please see the Empty premium policy guidelines.

The Council Tax will remain due and payable at the current rate pending the outcome of any review.

To apply for an Icon for pdf Application for Exception to the Council Tax Empty Premium [148.07KB] please download and complete the application form.

How do I apply?

To apply please complete the unoccupied and unfurnished properties form or download and complete the Icon for pdf Council Tax discount uninhabitable properties [92.22KB] PDF form.

To apply for a discount if your property is undergoing major repairs or structural alterations please complete our Properties undergoing major repairs or structural alteration Council Tax discount form.