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Do You Have to Pay Council Tax on An Empty Property?

Property Saviour » Tax » Do You Have to Pay Council Tax on An Empty Property?

In most cases, you must pay council tax on an empty property.  There are some exceptions under specific reasons which will be covered. 

Please note that each council will have their own rules, and it is worth speaking with them to understand whether any exceptions apply.  

It may be worth considering securing your empty property to make it look like lived in.  Whether you have your own empty property to sell or spotted an empty property on your street, you can report it.

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Do you pay council tax on an empty property when someone dies?

Properties left empty after someone has died are exempt from the Council Tax until a Grant of Probate has been issued.  Some councils give you an additional six months after Probate is granted if a property isn’t sold, let, or someone else is moving in.

Bungalows left to beneficiaries can be difficult to sell if they are in a rural location, need modernisation or the demand for bungalows has diminished.

What are the exceptions for not paying Council Tax?

In these circumstances, council tax exemptions apply – but you must contact the council as rules vary:

  • Property left empty by patients in hospitals or moved into a care home;
  • The owner has moved into a prison;
  • Property left empty because a carer providing care;
  • Repossessed properties.

You must speak to your local council to apply for an exemption. 

If the property has substantial equity, is mortgage-free, or has been long-term empty, these are being targeted by criminals to convert into a cannabis factory, often resulting in a fire-damaged house not covered by insurance due to criminal activity.

An empty kitchen in a vacant house
Council tax exemptions vary depending on each local authority but generally they want payment.

Can someone sell your house without you knowing?

Property title theft is becoming increasingly common. Fraudsters may try to sell someone’s property by pretending to be them or stealing their ID. They often target sole owners of properties that are not mortgaged.

This allows them to sell an empty property without the owner’s permission.  It may be best to sell your empty property now.

Do you have to pay council tax when renovating a property?

All councils will charge you 100% council tax, and some will even charge you 200% while the property is empty or is being renovated.

What is long term empty property premium?

Property sitting empty for over 2 years will attract an empty property premium.  This can be anything from 50% to 100% on top of your normal council tax rate liability.

It is best to consult your council and let them know your plans to sell or rent the property.

Can Property Saviour Help?

If you are worried about your vacant property, we can help.  We are seeking to buy all types of properties across the UK.

We’ll pay cash and complete the purchase within two weeks.  We will pay up to £1,500 towards your legal fees, too.

Sell with certainty & speed

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Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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