Empty property discount - Blaby District Council

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Empty property discount

If the property is unoccupied and unfurnished a 100 percent discount is entitled for one month. Following this a full charge is payable on the property.

This is a property related discount, so if the property has benefited from this previously and has not been fully furnished or occupied for more than 42 days since it was granted it may not have a further discount.

Empty property exemptions

  • A property owned by a charity and last used for that charity’s purposes will be exempt for up to six months.

  • Left empty by someone who is now in prison. The property must have been their main home immediately before going into prison. No time limit applies.
  • Left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital or home. No time limit applies.

  • If waiting for probate or letters of administrations to be granted as the sole owner or tenant has died, and for up to six months thereafter. Not applicable if there is a sole beneficiary of the estate.

  • A property where occupation is prohibited by law – a property will be exempt when it is empty due to a compulsory purchase, unfit for human habitation or where planning restrictions do not allow occupation. No time limit applies.

  • When the property is waiting to be lived in by a minister of religion.

  • Left empty by someone who is providing care somewhere else, no one else must live in the property. No time limit applies.

  • Left empty by students who live elsewhere to carry out their studies. One of the students would have had to be responsible for payment of the Council Tax. He/she must have been a student for the whole time since it has his/her home.

  • Properties that are repossessed and in possession of a mortgage lender.

Properties requiring undergoing structural alterations and repairs

If your property needs or is undergoing structural alterations or major repair works to make it habitable, you may get a 50 percent discount for up to 12 months.  To get this discount, the property must be unoccupied and substantially unfurnished*. After the 12 month period has expired, you will have to pay 100 percent Council Tax, even if the work has still not been completed.


Substantially unfurnished is defined as a property where sufficient furniture has been removed to leave the property incapable of occupation.  As a minimum, beds, chairs, tables, wardrobes, cabinets, televisions and personal effects would be expected to be removed.


Structural Alterations:
This means a change to the fabric of the property which should prevent occupation of the property, alteration or removal of a supporting, loadbearing wall.  Anything that alters a load bearing surface that is supporting something greater than its own weight.


Major Repair Works:
This means that the work required is such, that unless the work is carried out, the property will not be fit to live in – therefore the property must be uninhabitable before any work starts.  We will need to inspect the property before the work commences in order to assess your entitlement to the discount. 


By major repair works we mean underpinning, total replacement of floors, including new joists, damp proof membrane throughout the property, total replacement of ceilings or roof including new joists/timbers, total re-plastering (back to brickwork) of the entire walls of the majority of the property.  This list is not exhaustive.

Work that does not qualify for a discount:


A property refurbishment that does not involve structural alterations or major repair works as defined above, will not qualify for this discount.  Many vacant properties have repair work carried out prior to a new occupier moving in.  This discount is not intended to cover situations where a property has outdated features, fittings and fixtures.  Replacement, refurbishment or modernisation of for example kitchen, bathrooms, toilets; installation of replacement windows; central heating, rewiring, plastering etc. would not lead to a reduction because these are not considered to be major repairs.

The absence of a kitchen, bathroom or connection of services does not qualify for a discount because this is not classed as major.  The total cost of the works is not a determining factor as to whether you will be granted a discount for the work. 

What discount we provide:


The discount can be claimed for a maximum of 12 months. After the 12 months, you must pay the full charge, even if the work has not been finished.
The discount will not be awarded retrospectively unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Failure to notify Blaby District Council at the time of the work commencing does not qualify as exceptional circumstances.

Documentation Proof required:

Please complete the form below and return to Blaby District Council, Revenues Section. Dependent on the nature of your claim it may also be necessary for you to provide some or all of the information below:

Structural Repair or Major Works Discount Application Form


• A schedule of the works being undertaken
• Date work started or is due to commence
• Estimated completion date
• Photographs prior to the work starting and during, if applying when the work has been completed
• Invoices/quotes for work being carried out
• Any insurance claim documentation (if applicable)
• Fire incident report (if applicable)

Contact

Revenues Section
Blaby District Council
Council Offices
Desford Road
Narborough
Leicester
LE19 2EP

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0116 284 9786
Last updated: 06 December 2017

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