Bringing empty properties back into use can be costly. Particularly if extensive renovations are necessary.
There are two ways in which you can be supported in reducing the costs of the work to your property.
HM Revenue and Customs VAT Reduction
Domestic building work is usually charged at the standard VAT rate of 20%. However, there are concessions which can reduce project costs if the property has been empty for more than 2 years.
The Empty properties – Less taxing! leaflet summarises possible VAT savings.
The Council’s Empty Homes Team can help provide supporting evidence, about the length of time that a property has been empty.
You can include this with your application to HM Revenue and Customs for a VAT reduction or refund.
Links to HM Revenue and Customs
- Renovation of residential properties empty for 2 years or less HMRC VAT Notice 708)
- VAT refunds on building new homes and conversions - how to claim, application form and guidance notes
HMRC VAT Helpline on 0300 200 3700
Council Tax Discounts
Please note whilst we (Empty Homes team) provide advice and assistance to help bring properties back into use we do not administer Council Tax accounts. Enquiries and requests for amendment or discount should be directed to the Revenues service.
Empty uninhabitable major works discount
You may be able to get a money off your bill if:
- your property is empty and unfurnished and
- needs, or is undergoing major repairs (which involve structural alterations)
You’ll need to provide us with some details such as photos, estimates, and invoices before the 50% discount can be awarded for up to twelve months.
Empty property premium
Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for a period of 2 years or more a 100% empty homes premium is payable.
Change in circumstances
You must notify Council Tax if you are receiving a discount and there is a change in your circumstances within 21 days. You may be liable to a penalty of £70.00 if you don't do this.