Exemptions from Increased Council Tax Premium on Unoccupied Property

Closed 3 Mar 2024

Opened 8 Feb 2024

Results expected 5 Mar 2024

Feedback expected 8 Mar 2024


This consultation seeks views on possible categories of dwellings which should be exceptions to the council tax premiums in Trafford.  It covers the long-term empty homes premium, and also the second homes premium, provisions for which are included within the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023.

Long-term empty homes are dwellings that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a defined period.  As part of its policy of encouraging owners of empty dwellings to bring them back in to use, Trafford Council applies a council tax premium, starting at an additional 100% (200% in total) of the council tax charge, once a property has been empty for 2 years.  From 1 April 2024, the long-term empty property premium will apply once a property has been empty for 1 year.


Second homes are currently charged at 100%, with an option to request a discount of 50% if the second home is needed under a contract of employment.  Second home owners currently pay the same council tax as others with one home.  Second home ownership is recognised to have a negative impact in terms of the supply of homes available to meet local housing need.  From 1 April 2025, a premium will apply of an additional 100% (200% in total) of the council tax charge on second homes.

The Council accepts that there may be circumstances where property owners should not be subject to the council tax premiums because they are attempting to bring their property back in to use, or there are circumstances beyond their control which is preventing them from doing so.  The Council therefore is proposing to introduce a Discretionary Council Tax Premium Exemption Policy from 1 April 2024 and is seeking views on the proposed categories.

This consultation sets out Trafford’s proposals to introduce an Exempt Categories Policy which includes the range of possible circumstances where dwellings will not be liable for either the long term empty homes premium, the second homes premium, or both.