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Empty properties, second homes and annexes

Empty properties

This information is only for empty properties in the Dorset Council area (East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland).

For other parts of Dorset see:

Categories of empty properties

Property that is unoccupied and empty (substantially unfurnished) and undergoing or needing structural changes to make it habitable

We apply a 50% discount for the first 12 months, or up to 6 months after the work is completed for a maximum of 12 months.

When you apply, tell us:

  • the date the property became unfurnished and structural changes we needed
  • an address we can write to (not the address of the empty property)

Apply now

Property that is unoccupied and empty (substantially unfurnished)

The Class C discount, which replaces Class C exemption, means that councils in Dorset apply their own level of discount for empty properties.

Until 31 March 2019:
Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck apply a discount of 100% for 1 month
West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland apply a discount of 100% for 3 months

From 1 April 2019:
Dorset Council apply a discount of 100% for 1 month

The discount period will start from the date the property first became empty and unoccupied.
The discount period is not reset upon a change of ownership.

After one month there is no discount for empty, substantially unfurnished and unoccupied properties.

Full Council Tax is payable on empty properties and a premium might apply after a period of time.

If an empty discount period has been awarded, and then the property is occupied for less than 6 weeks; you can't re-claim a further empty discount period.

When you apply, tell us:

  • the date the property became unoccupied and unfurnished
  • an address we can write to (not the address of the empty property)

Apply now

Property that remains unoccupied and empty (substantially unfurnished for over 2 years)

Until 31 March 2019:
All councils in Dorset are charging a 50% premium on properties that have remained unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

From 1 April 2019:
Dorset Council are charging a 100% premium (meaning the Council Tax is doubled) on properties that have remained unoccupied and unfurnished for more than two years.

Second homes

If your dwelling is a second home, meaning it is furnished and no-one's sole or main residence, no discount will apply.

Second homes such as job-related accommodation provided by an employer, a pitch occupied by a caravan or a mooring occupied by a boat are excepted. In such cases, a 50% discount may apply.

When you apply, tell us:

  • your property address
  • the date you want to claim from

Apply now

Annexes

If a single property includes more than one dwelling, for example an annexe, a 50% discount may apply if:

  • the dwelling is being used by a resident of the other dwelling(s) as part of the sole or main residence; or
  • the dwelling is the sole or main residence of a close relative of the person who is liable to pay Council Tax for the other dwelling(s)

The 50% discount can be applied in addition to other discounts.

When you apply, tell us:

  • your property address
  • the date you want to claim from

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