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Empty properties, second homes and annexes

Apply for a discount for an empty property, second home or annex

You can apply for a discount online if you live in Christchurch, East Dorset or North Dorset.

If you live in Purbeck, West Dorset or Weymouth and Portland:

Read the information below on how to apply.

Empty properties

This information is only for empty properties in Christchurch, 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

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

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.

To apply, email us confirming the date which the property became unfurnished and structural changes were required or started to make it habitable and provide an address we can write to (not the address of the empty property).

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.

  • 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

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.

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.

To apply, email us confirming the date which the property became unoccupied and unfurnished and provide an address we can write to (not the address of the empty property).

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

All councils in Dorset are charging a 50% premium 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.

To apply, email us with your property address and the date you wish to claim from.

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.

To apply,  email us with your property address and the date you wish to claim from.

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