Consultation about Empty Properties and Council Tax

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Closes 13 Oct 2023


Council Tax is money paid to the Council that helps pay for local services like:

  • Schools.
  • Emptying bins.
  • Keeping the streets clean.
  • Street Lighting.

Long Term Empty Properties.

This consultation is about properties that have no furniture or only a small amount of furniture in them.

We call these empty properties.

And homes that are furnished but not lived in.

We call these second homes.

The Council already charges more Council Tax for empty properties.

Now if a property has been left empty for 2 years or more, the Council Tax charged is doubled.

We are asking if the Council Tax should be doubled if the property has been left empty for 1 year.

This is instead of the 2 years as it is now.

We are also asking should the Council Tax be doubled for homes that are not lived in all the time?

There are about 1371 homes in Sefton that have been empty for one year or more.

This number only includes homes where people must pay Council Tax.

Sometimes people do not have to pay Council Tax. This is called being exempt. For example, the house is empty because:

  • The owner has gone to live somewhere else to be cared for.
  • The owner has left to give care to someone else.
  • The owner works in the armed forces.
  • When the owner has died, and probate is still to be given.

Probate is a decision by a court about who should look after a person’s financial affairs.

There are about 525 homes in Sefton that are furnished but are not lived in all the time. This could be because:

  • It is a 2nd home.
  • It is only used for Holidays.

The Council could double the Council Tax for owners of empty but furnished homes after 1 year.

This is because:

  • More homes are needed for people to live in
  • The Council will raise more money to spend on local services.


Related information

The Council has support available for empty homes to be used again, this includes:

  • Offering advice to owners to so that property can be used as a home again.
  • Having a scheme that helps owners of empty property find tenants to live in them.

Sefton Council will always try to work with owners to bring properties back into use but when the property is causing problems for other people and:

  • The owner does not want to let anyone live in it.
  • The owner can’t be found.

The Council might have to take action to make sure the rules are followed. This is called enforcement action.

People who have properties that have been left empty for a long time can get advice from the Councils Housing Standards Team by e-mailing

1. Are you responding to this survey as? (Please tick all the boxes that apply).

A man pointing to himself and holding up his other hand

2. What is the first part of your home Postcode (for example: L20; PR8)?

Example of a post code

3. Do you think the extra 100% Council Tax should be charged for homes that are empty after 1 year instead of the 2 years it is now?

An example of a Council Tax Bill

4. Do you think that an extra 100% Council Tax should be charged on homes that are empty but furnished after 1 year

Example of home and Council Tax bill

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5. Do you have any comments related to this proposal?

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There is a limit of 240 characters