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Empty property discount / exemption

Empty properties

If a property that you own, or a property that you are liable for, is unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, you may be eligible for a discount. This discount is 100% and is valid for a maximum of 3 months from the date it became unoccupied and unfurnished. Following this a full charge is payable on the property.

If the property has previously had the discount it can't be applied again, even if there is a change of ownership.

Uninhabitable properties

The Uninhabitable Property discount is granted to properties which are unoccupied, unfurnished and requiring or undergoing major repairs or structural alterations.

You may be entitled to a 50% discount for a maximum period of 12 months. 

Please provide all relevant evidence confirming works carried out with your application. Without it, the application won't be considered. You will be able to upload evidence using the online form below.

Examples of evidence required:

  • invoices relating to work carried out
  • photographs
  • receipts
  • estate agents details
  • surveyor's reports

This list above contains examples; there are no specific pieces of evidence we require, but we must be satisfied that the property is uninhabitable.

Purchase and repair scheme with EPIC housing association

Properties requiring no more than £100,000 -£125,000 overall investment can be considered. Empty property owners can find further information on the North Staffordshire Rent to Buy Scheme website.

Long Term Empty Property Premium

Properties that have been unoccupied for more than 2 years are subject to an additional premium of 50%. This will result in a Council Tax charge of 150%. We may be able to refer you to someone who can give you advice about bringing your property back into use.

From 1 April 2020 we will be increasing the Empty Homes Premium. 

If a property has been empty for 2 years the premium will be 100%. This will mean the charge will be 200% of the council tax owed on the property.

If a property has been empty for 5 years the premium will be 200%. This will mean the charge will be 300% of the council tax owed on the property.

Under Section 11B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, Councils can charge a Council Tax premium for long term empty dwellings. From 1st April 2019, Local Government Authorities were given new powers, under the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax Act 2018 which came into force in November 2018.

If you have had to leave your property due to illness, or to provide care

Residents that have moved to nursing or residential homes or long stay hospital wards may be exempt from paying Council Tax. This may also apply if you have moved away to receive care due to old age, disablement or illness, or to provide care for someone else.

If a property is left empty when someone dies

An exemption may be applied until probate (official proving of a will) or letters of administration are granted and for up to 6 months after this if the property remains unoccupied. 

How to apply for a discount or exemption

To apply for a discount or exemption you will need to create or log in to a Staffs Moorlands online account. If you don't have one already, click the button below and register. If you already have an account with us you can also log in here.

Once you're registered

  • go to 'Submit a request' and select the Council Tax discount form
  • it should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete
  • you can upload scanned / saved evidence of your address, income and other benefits or do this later

What happens next?

We will contact you (usually via email), if we need any further information, and to let you know the progress of your application. We aim to process discounts / exemptions within 21 working days.

You will be able to view any changes to your council tax online, via your account, once your discount has been processed.