Empty properties are those dwellings that have no substantial furnishing. These also include those dwellings that have been unoccupied for the last two years. An inhabited property is usually furnished and can be occupied for over six weeks or less for 24 months.
Some exemptions also apply to a house with the two-year empty rule. Owners of unoccupied properties who are members of the armed forces or are in jail do not need to pay council tax. These, however, do not include those situations where a property owner is in prison for not paying the council tax or is avoiding to pay capital gain tax on their properties.
Empty properties are often a second home to many people. These types of houses often include holiday homes or a dwelling that you do not occupy as your primary residence. You might be wondering how to avoid paying council tax on an empty property. There may not be any way to do so, though there are some exemptions or discounts on council tax on inhabited properties in certain conditions.
For example, if you have an empty second home, consider letting it out. Inhabited or unoccupied houses are likely to attract anti-social activities, which can harm your property’s value. Likewise, they can result in maintenance and repair costs. You can avoid it by renting out your property. You can also get relief on your second home if it is a registered business property in a rural area.
You can benefit from small business rate relief if you let it out for a business purpose for more than four months in a year. Likewise, if you have a house in a village and use it as your second home, you can benefit from council tax exemption or discount.