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Home > Council Tax > Exemptions, discounts and premiums > Exemptions, discounts and premiums

Exemptions, discounts and premiums

Unoccupied but furnished properties 

There are no reductions for unoccupied but furnished properties, 100% Council Tax is charged.

Unoccupied and unfurnished property

Empty properties are defined as those which are unoccupied and unfurnished. A 25% discount is granted for a period of 28 days form the date a property becomes unoccupied and unfurnished. Note that the 28 day discount is awarded against the property, not the owner. When the discount ends the full charge is payable. If the property remains empty for more than 2 years (from when it first became empty) the level of charge will increase.

Visit our Moving Home page if you are moving house. If the empty discount is due, it will then be applied automatically.

Property empty for over 2 years

For Mid Suffolk District Council - once a property has been empty for over 2 years, a ‘long-term empty premium’ of 50% is applied, so the rate of Council Tax payable is 150% for properties empty for over 2 years.


For Babergh District Council - from 1st April 2019 when a property has been empty for over 2 years, a ‘long-term empty premium’ of 100% is applied, so the rate of Council Tax payable is 200%. (Prior to this date the premium charge was 50%, making the previous rate payable 150%).

For the financial year beginning on 1 April 2020 the maximum premium is;

    • Long Term Empty 2-5 years – 100%
    • Long Term Empty 5 years and over - 200%

For the financial year beginning on 1 April 2021 the maximum premium is;

    • Long Term Empty 2-5 years – 100%
    • Long Term Empty 5 years and over - 200%
    • Long Term empty at least 10 years – 300%

This means that from the 1st April 2020, properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished more than five years will be charged three times the standard amount of the band for the property, see the example below:-

Council Tax £1,500
200% Premium (5 Years & Over) £3,000
Council Tax Payable £4,500


Structural alterations or major repair work - uninhabitable property

If you have a property which is in a poor state of repair, or is undergoing substantial refurbishment work or structural alterations, you can apply for a 25% discount for up to 12 months, after which the property will be treated as a standard empty property unless the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deletes the property from the Council Tax list.  

However the VOA will only do this if it is derelict and uninhabitable, or if the work is substantial and the property is being rebuilt or structurally altered. Visit our Uninhabitable properties page for more information.

Exemption Classes

Apply for an Exemption online

The homes in the list below are exempt from Council Tax:

UNOCCUPIED homes are exempt if they:

Class Description
B Are owned by a charity; (exemptions are allowed for up to a maximum of six months from when the property became unoccupied)
D Are left empty by an owner or tenant who was living there until going into prison;
E/I Are left empty by someone who has moved to receive personal care in a hospital, nursing/care home or elsewhere on a permanent basis;
F The property is vacant because the liable person has died and probate or letters of administration have not been granted (exemption continues for up to six months after they are granted);
G Are empty because no one is allowed to live there by law;
H Are waiting to be occupied by a minister of religion;
J Are left empty by the owner or tenant who was living there until moving away to care for someone;
K Are owned by a student and were last occupied by that student;
L Have been repossessed;
Q Are the responsibility of a bankrupt’s trustee;
R Are a site for an individual caravan or mobile home, or a mooring;
T Are part of a property which also includes another home and cannot be let separately.


OCCUPIED homes are exempt if they are occupied:

Class Description
N Only by students;
P  The taxpayer is a member of the United States Air Force, or his or her non-UK dependent;
S Only by people aged under 18;
U Only by people who are severely mentally impaired and who would otherwise have to pay;
V By a diplomat or member of certain international organisations;
W  An annex occupied by a person over 65 or disabled or severely mentally impaired who is dependent on relatives that are residing in the main part of the property.


OCCUPIED or UNOCCUPIED homes are exempt when:

Class Description
O They are Forces barracks or married quarters (The Crown will pay towards the cost of local services through a special arrangement).

Classes A to W above are only broad descriptions of the available exemptions. If you are waiting for the outcome of an application for an exemption, you must continue to pay the current bill. When an exemption ends we will send you a bill for the remainder of the financial year's charge.

Please remember, if your circumstances change, you must tell us within 21 days.