Second homes and empty properties

Paying Council Tax if you have two properties or empty properties

If you have two properties, you will have to pay Council Tax for both of them unless:

  • an exemption applies, or;
  • someone else has their sole or main residence in your other property

You will have to pay the usual Council Tax for the property which is your main home. This will normally be either 100% or 75%, depending on how many people live there. In addition, you will have to pay the full amount of Council Tax for the second home or property.

Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished, full Council Tax is payable from the date the property first became empty.

Property empty for over two years, including unfurnished second homes

If a property has been empty and unfurnished for over two years then councils can apply a long-term empty premium. We have set a premium of 50% for Eastleigh Borough, which means that the rate of Council Tax payable for properties empty and unfurnished over two years is 150%. If the property is still substantially furnished, a 100% charge will apply.

The council has introduced this measure to encourage owners of empty properties to bring them back into use.

There are two exemptions from the empty homes premium:

The first is that a property is an annexe and is used in conjunction with the occupation of the main property.

The second is that the property would be the sole/main residence of a person, but is empty as that person resides in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence, because of their employment (service personnel posted away from home).

If you think that either of these apply please get in touch.

Furnished second homes or a furnished unoccupied property

If you own a furnished second home or property that is nobody’s main residence, you will be liable for the full Council Tax. However, if you are renting the property out to a tenant, in most circumstances the tenant will be liable.

Second homes or properties that are being refurbished

If you have a property which is in a poor state of repair, or undergoing substantial refurbishment work or structural alterations, the Council Tax remains payable unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes it from the Council Tax list. The VOA will only do this if it is derelict and uninhabitable, or if the work is substantial and the property is being rebuilt or structurally altered. 

Challenging your Council Tax band

There are some circumstances whereby an empty property requires no Council Tax:

The person has moved to provide care elsewhere 

Apply for an exemption if your property is now unoccupied because you have left home to care for another person:

Tell us you're providing care elsewhere, apply online now.

The person has moved to receive care elsewhere

Apply for an exemption if your property is now unoccupied because you are receiving care elsewhere:

Tell us you're receiving care elsewhere, apply online now.

Unoccupied properties owned by a charity

Dwellings left unoccupied and owned by charities can be exempt for up to six months from the date the last resident moved out, providing it was last used for the purpose of the charity. 

The owner or leaseholder must be a registered charity. The property can be furnished or unfurnished.

Unoccupied because occupation is prohibited by law

No Council Tax to pay for a property that is unoccupied.  The property must not be occupied because it is forbidden by law. 

Property left unoccupied by a student who resides elsewhere to study

 Any property which is unoccupied and where:

  • the owner is a student living elsewhere because of their studies; and
  • the dwelling was last occupied only by one or more students as their sole or main residence.

In some cases the qualifying person may not have become a student until after changing their main residence. In these cases, he or she must have become a student within six weeks of leaving the property for the exemption to apply.