Empty properties, unoccupied properties and second homes

Vacant property discount

In Ealing, a 100% discount may be awarded for a maximum period of 14 days from the date a property first becomes unoccupied and unfurnished.

If you have purchased a property that has already been unoccupied and unfurnished for a time you will not be eligible for a new 14 day period of discount. You can only be awarded a discount for any remainder of the initial 14 day period.

Please note that when considering the date on which a property first became empty, any temporary period of occupation of less than six weeks shall be disregarded.

Some properties that become unoccupied may be exempt from council tax for longer periods of time. Please check the exemptions for unoccupied properties before you apply for this discount.

If you think you may qualify for a discount you can apply by completing the vacant property discount form.

Discount for uninhabitable properties requiring major repair or undergoing structural alteration  

A discount of 100% may be awarded for a maximum period of 14 days from the date a property first became vacant if it requires major repair to make it habitable or if it is undergoing structural alteration. Apply by completing the vacant property discount form and provide details of the works being done or required in the comments box. 

If a property is in severe disrepair or derelict, or is undergoing major structural alterations that make it impossible to live in any part of it, the council tax band may be deleted.
For more information contact the Valuation Office Agency.

Long-term empty properties      

Any property that has been empty for more than two years will be charged a premium of 100%, which means you pay double the standard amount of council tax.

From 1 April 2020, any property that has been empty for more than five years will be charged a premium of 200%, which means you pay three times the amount of council tax.

From 1 April 2021, any property that has been empty for more than 10 years will be charged a premium of 300%, which means you pay four times the amount of council tax.

2024 to 2025

From 1 April 2024 there will be an increase in the council tax premium for unoccupied and unfurnished proper­ties. This change will apply to all unfurnished and unoccupied properties which have not had anyone living there as their sole or main residence for a year or more. This replaces the current threshold of two years. The percentage premi­um will be added from the appropriate date depending on when the property became unoccupied and unfurnished.

The premium added will be 100% of your current council tax bill.

From 1 April 2024 the following premiums are now added to council tax bills for unoccupied and unfurnished properties:

Empty duration Premium per cent Total bill per cent
Less than 1 year nil 100%
Between 1 and 5 years 100% 200%
Between 5 and 10 years 200% 300%
Over 10 years 300% 400%

These changes to legislation can be searched under Section 11B of Local Government Finance Act 1992 and Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023

Second homes or unoccupied furnished properties 

There is no discount in Ealing for properties that are occupied as second homes (where the owner's main home is elsewhere), or for furnished properties that are not occupied by someone as their main home (such as rented properties between tenancies).

1 April 2025

From 1 April 2025 a 100% premium will also be introduced for properties which are either used as second homes, or which are unoccupied and substantially furnished.

Contact the council and provide information regarding your property.