New builds and empty properties

New builds and empty properties

Your property is a new build, how long will it take to be banded?

Firstly, your property has to be reported to the Listing Officer at the Valuation Office Agency. They will decide which valuation band your property is in and let us know.

While you are waiting for your property to be banded, if you know roughly how much your property is worth we can give you a reference number and estimate of charge - this will enable you to make some payments until the property is officially banded. Call us on 0345 8 504 504 for more information.

If you are waiting for a property to be banded, please contact:

The Valuation Office Agency
Listing Officer
Earle House
Colonial Street


New properties and completion notices

What is a completion notice?

A completion notice is a document that specifies the 'completion date' for newly built properties. It is the date on which the property becomes a dwelling for Council Tax purposes and is the date it is entered into the valuation list.

The completion notice is issued in accordance with Schedule 4A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and Section 17 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

Where a domestic property is structurally complete, or where the work remaining can reasonably be expected to be completed within 3 months, a completion notice will be served on the 'owner' of the property. The 'owner' is defined as 'the person entitled to possession'.

Where work on a property is not yet completed, the completion notice can be served to specify the final completion day of up to three months from the date of service, for the remaining works for completion of the property to be carried out.

What if a property is complete but not occupied?

If the property is complete, the council will serve a completion notice on the owner as soon as is reasonably practicable. A completion notice cannot be backdated, even if the property has been completed for some time.

New properties, whether newly constructed or created by conversion, which are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished will be subject to a full charge 1 month after the date the property is brought onto the Council Tax list.

What if the property becomes occupied?

A new or altered dwelling does not require a completion notice once someone starts to live there.  The date used to enter onto the Council Tax list will be the date of occupation.

What if I disagree with the completion notice?

The regulations specify that if you disagree with a completion notice you should appeal within 28 days of the date of service of the notice to the Valuation Tribunal Service. 

It must be made in writing stating the grounds for the appeal and should be accompanied by a copy of the completion notice that has been issued to you; however, you can contact us in the first instance setting out the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

Once we have received your enquiry we may ask for further information and will advise you of our decision as soon as possible, to allow you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish. A revised completion notice will be issued, if necessary.

The criteria for determining completion for Council Tax purposes are substantially different to that for determining completion for Building Control; therefore, whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not directly relevant.

Your property is empty, do you have to pay Council Tax?

Unoccupied and unfurnished properties

A 100 per cent discount applies for 1 month from the date a property becomes unoccupied and unfurnished. Thereafter the full Council Tax will be payable for up to two years. If the property remains empty for longer, the level of charge will then increase.

Once a property has been empty for over two years, a 'long term empty' premium will be applied. From 1 April 2019 this has been set at 100 per cent, so the rate of Council Tax payable is 200 per cent for properties empty longer than two years. From 1 April 2020 this premium was increased to 200 per cent for properties which have been empty for five years or more, so the rate of Council Tax payable is 300 per cent for these properties.

From 1 April 2019 a discretionary discount for new owners of properties subject to the long term empty premium has been introduced.

This reduction will remove the addition Empty Home Premium for a maximum period of three months from the date of purchase. This is designed to support new owners by giving them time to improve the property so it can be re occupied.

Unoccupied but furnished properties

Properties that are furnished but not being used as anyone's sole or main residence is regarded as 'unoccupied but furnished'. There is no discount for an unoccupied but furnished property, so the full Council Tax is payable.