Manchester City Council

Council Tax Council Tax charges on empty properties (including second homes)

The table below shows how we work out the Council Tax charge for empty properties (including second homes) from 1 April 2013 and how we did it before April 2013.

Property description 

The charge from 1 April 2013

The charge before 1 April 2013

Empty and unfurnished.

No charge for up to one month.

Full charge after that for up to two years.

Full charge + 50% after two years. 

Previously no charge for six months and a 50% charge after six months.

Empty and furnished. Full charge from the date the property became empty. Previously 50% charge from the date the property became empty.
Empty and substantially unfurnished because undergoing (or having undergone) major repairs or structural alteration.

50% charge for a maximum of 12 months.

Full charge after that until the end of the second year.

Full charge + 50% after two years.

Previously no charge for a maximum of 12 months.

An empty annexe that is being treated as part of the main property.

Full charge from the date the annexe became empty.

Previously no charge indefinitely.
Left empty because a member of the armed forces is on active service. No charge whilst on active service.

Previously full charge.

Left empty by a student who is studying outside Manchester. No change to the rules.

No charge whilst empty as long as the owner has been a student since they last occupied the property or became a student within six weeks of leaving it.

Some examples:

Example 1
A property that became empty and unfurnished from 15 March 2013 got a 100% exemption until the end of March, then 100% discount up to 15 April. The full Council Tax is charged from 15 April 2013.

Example 2
A property that became empty and unfurnished from 12 January 2013 got a 100% exemption until the end of March. From April 2013, Council Tax is charged in full (100%). This is because the property has already been empty for more than one month so the new one month discount of 100% doesn't apply.

Example 3
A property has been empty and unfurnished since 1 October 2011. On 1 October 2013, if still empty and unfurnished after two years, Council Tax will be full charge + 50%. The charge from 1 April  2013 to 30 September 2013 is the full charge (100%).

Example 4
A property that has been empty and unfurnished since 1 February 2011 (more than two years by 1 April 2013) will be charged at full charge + 50% from 1 April 2013.

How to apply for an empty property discount.

See the council's report bringing in these rule changes from April 2013.

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