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Different types of council tax discounts and exemptions

Properties uninhabitable due to building repair work

You may be exempt from paying council tax for a property:

  • Which requires or is currently having major repair work to make it suitable to live in; or
  • Where work is underway to make structural alterations and the majority of this work has not been completed

It is important that you claim this discount before, or as soon as possible after, the work starts, as it's difficult to make a determination once the work has been completed.  If you apply after the work is finished, we can only consider giving a discount if you can provide sufficient evidence of the work that has been done. 

Apply for an exemption for a property undergoing building repair work

After you apply, we will contact you and carry out an inspection of the property to make sure it qualifies for a discount.  Ideally this should be before any work has started or whilst works are in progress.

If your property qualifies for the discount, it will last for up to 12 months - even if the repairs have not been fully completed within that time.

Once the 100% discount expires the amount due will depend on how long the property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for.  If the property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for less than 2 years, 100% Council Tax will be payable.  If the property has been unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more, a 50% Empty Home Premium will be applied on top of the 100% charge.  Please note that this could include any time where the property was under different ownership.  

When your property no longer qualifies for the discount (i.e. when the work has been completed or the property becomes occupied), you must tell us within 21 days or you may be fined. 

Examples of repair work and alterations which would entitle you to a discount:

  • Major repairs to roof structures.
  • Rebuilding defective chimney stack(s)
  • Rebuilding external walls, for example to extend the property
  • Repair/renewal of foundations
  • Underpinning substandard foundations
  • Replacing defective solid floors
  • Replacing defective floor joists
  • Property totally gutted including removing most internal walls (not stud/partition walls))
  • Replacing defective ceiling joists
  • Rebuilding defective walls (not stud/partition walls)

Examples which would NOT entitle you to a discount:

These types of repairs and alterations are considered to be modernisation, not major repair work:

  • plumbing or heating
  • replacement/repairs of bathroom and kitchen or any other fitting/fixtures
  • rewiring
  • timber or damp proof treatments
  • re-plastering (walls or ceilings)
  • drainage
  • repairs or renewals of services
  • maintenance, for example re-pointing, window/door replacement
  • redecoration

If your property is condemned as 'unfit for human habitation' by our Environmental Health service, you need to apply for a different exemption - find out more about exemptions for properties which are unfit for habitation, or are under planning restrictions, demolition orders or compulsory purchase orders.