Council Tax Empty Homes Discounts

Closed 1 Nov 2019

Opened 16 Sep 2019


Since 1 April 2013, the Government has provided Councils in England with the flexibility to provide certain Council Tax discounts relating to empty homes. The current level of uninhabitable property discount was agreed by Council in January 2013 and the current level of empty property discount was agreed by Council in January 2014. A review of the level of council tax discounts offered in neighbouring authorities indicates that Sefton is currently offering the most generous local empty homes discounts in the city region. Properties that have been empty for less than 1 month currently receive a discount of 100% for up to one month. Properties that have been deemed uninhabitable receive a discount of 50% for up to twelve months.

Why your views matter

The Council is proposing to make changes to Council Tax Discounts on Empty Homes from 1st April 2020. Properties that are currently classed as uninhabitable would no longer receive a discount and be subject to a full Council Tax charge. Properties that have been empty for less than one month would have the discount reduced from 100% to 50%.

There are currently 178 homes that receive the uninhabitable discount and 435 homes that receive the empty home discount. The proposed reductions in the discounts are intended to incentivise owners of empty properties to bring them back into use, to provide discounts at a level consistent with other council's in the Liverpool City Region, and to increase the amount of Council Tax income available for the provision of vital services.

As well as changing the level of discounts, there are other  initiatives to help bring empty homes back into use. For more information on how Sefton Council sets out its objectives in relation to Empty Homes please see ‘The Empty Homes Plan 2019 – 2024’ on

Sefton Council will always try to encourage and work with owners to bring properties back into use however in some cases enforcement action is required.  Owners of long term empty homes can seek advice for dealing with them from the Council’s Housing Standards Team by e-mailing  

We would like to know what you think about the proposal to reduce the Council Tax empty homes discounts in Sefton from 1st April 2020.

How to share your views

The consultation is open from 16th September 2019 to 1st November 2019. You can respond to the consultation by

  • Completing an online survey
  • Downloading a copy of the survey and returning it to us by:

Post: Council Tax Survey PO Box 21 Bootle,  Merseyside, L20 3US


Visit: Bootle One Stop Shop, 324 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ET (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Visit: Southport One Stop Shop, Cambridge Arcade, Southport (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Having Problems with the survey?

If you need help to complete the survey or do not understand what the survey is about and want to talk to someone about it please call our Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, closed weekends and Bank Holidays) or email us at:

What happens next

The results of this consultation will be reported to Council Members at a Cabinet Meeting in January 2020 and will help inform the Council's approach to Council Tax Empty Homes Discounts from 1st April 2020. The Cabinet recommendation will be considered by full Council at a meeting later in January 2020.


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