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Empty property discount / exemption

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has a strategic responsibility to facilitate access to affordable and decent homes. With demand for affordable housing and house prices rising, it is important to make best use of existing stock. Empty homes can fall into disrepair and cause problems for neighbours and the wider community because they can attract anti-social behaviour. In order to mitigate this, SMDC has a commitment to bring empty homes back into use.

From 1st April 2024, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, under the powers provided for in Section 11a Local Government Finance Act 1992, have made the decision to no longer award a three month (100%) unoccupied and substantially unfurnished property discount. A decision has also been made to no longer award a 12 month (50%) uninhabitable property discount for properties which are in need of or undergoing structural alterations or major repairs or renovations.

From 1st April 2024, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, under the powers provided for in the Levelling up and Regeneration bill 2023 which amends Section 11b Local Government Finance Act 1992, have made a decision to charge a Long Term Empty Property Premium, of 100%, to all properties which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for 12 months. This means that any property which has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a period of at least 12 months but less than 5 years the charge for the property will be 200%.

If you are struggling with bringing your empty home back into use, please see information contained in the below weblink:

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.

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.