Empty properties and second homes | Sevenoaks District Council
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Empty properties and second homes

From 1 April 2021 there is no discount available for properties that are unoccupied and unfurnished.  Council tax will be charged at the full rate.  If a property remains unoccupied and unfurnished for two years, a premium will be charged as follows:

  • If the property is still unoccupied and unfurnished after two years, 200% Council Tax will be charged.
  • If the property is still unoccupied and unfurnished after five years, 300% Council Tax will be charged.
  • If the property is still unoccupied and unfurnished after ten years, 400% Council Tax will be charged.
     

Exemptions

These exemptions apply whether the properties are furnished or unfurnished:

  • Owned by a charity and when last occupied used for the purposes of the charity (exempt for up to six months, 50% charge thereafter)
  • Empty due to a person being in prison or being detained elsewhere  
  • Left empty by a patient living permanently in a hospital or a care home
  • Left empty where the council tax payer has died and they were the only owner or tenant (exempt until grant of probate or letters of administration made and then for up to six months after probate/letters of administration then 50% charge thereafter)
  • Occupation prohibited by law
  • Property held for a minister of religion for ‘work purposes’
  • Person living elsewhere to receive care (care must be necessary due to old age, disablement or illness including alcohol or drug dependency)
  • Person living permanently elsewhere to provide personal care
  • Property left empty by a student studying elsewhere (must have been a student since leaving the property or became a student with six weeks of leaving)
  • Repossessed properties
  • Property left empty by a bankrupt person
  • Empty annexes which may not be let separately from another property without a breach of planning control

If you think you qualify for one of the exemptions listed, please contact us.

Second homes and furnished rental properties

There will be a full charge from the date the property first became empty (even if you were not the owner at the time).

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