Chelmsford City Council

Discount and charges for an empty property

Apply for a discount

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If you own an empty property, you can apply for a discount.

The discount lasts for a maximum of three months, and applies to the property and not the owner. This means that if the previous owner claimed the discount for some of the three months, you can only claim it for the remaining time.

After three months, we will charge Council Tax in full.

We will only apply a new empty property discount if the property becomes empty and unfurnished after it has been reoccupied for six weeks.

To apply for a discount for an empty property, you will need: 

  • your Council Tax account number

  • your name, address and contact details

  • to tell us when the property became empty and unfurnished


If your property is unoccupied and unfurnished for two years or more, you will have to pay an empty homes premium. This means we will charge Council Tax in full, plus an additional 100% of the bill.

If your property has been empty for five years or more, the premium increases from 100% to 200%. This means your bill will be three times the normal Council Tax charge.

There will be a further increase in the premium from 200% to 300% for any property that has remained empty for 10 years or more.  

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    Last updated: 04 March 2022

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