Council tax premium for long-term empty properties and second homes

Welsh Government brought in legislation giving power to Local Authorities in Wales to charge a premium on council tax for long term empty properties and second homes. 

In 2017, Denbighshire decided at the Full Council Meeting that a council tax premium of 50% would be  charged to:

  • long-term empty properties from April 2018
  • second homes from April 2019

Long-term empty properties

A long-term empty property is a domestic property that is designed to be lived in (self-contained), and remains unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least 1 year. 

Second homes

A second home is a domestic property that is designed to be lived in (self-contained), is substantially furnished and is not a person's sole or main place of residence. 

Why is there a premium?

The purpose of council tax premium is to:

  • encourage homeowners not to leave their properties empty
  • increase affordable housing
  • benefit the local community and economy


The council tax premium would not be charged under the following exceptions:

  • Class 1: properties being marketed for sale - this exception is time-limited for 12 months.
  • Class 2: properties being marketed for let - this exception is time-limited for 12 months.
  • Class 3: annexes forming part of, or being treated as part of, the main property
  • Class 4: properties which would be someone’s sole or main residence if they were not residing in armed forces accommodation
  • Class 5 (this only applies to second homes): occupied caravan pitches and boat moorings
  • Class 6 (this only applies to second homes): properties where a planning condition either:
    • restricts occupancy for a continuous period of at least 28 days in any 12-month period
    • specifies that the dwelling may be used only as a holiday let
    • prevents occupancy as a person's sole or main residence
  • Class 7 (this only applies to second homes): job-related dwellings

Apply for an exception 

If you think your property falls into any of the exception classes, please contact us. You will need to provide evidence, such as one of the following:

  • an estate agent's agreement or contract and the direct link to the agent's website showing your property is being advertised for sale or let
  • a payslip showing Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax for Armed Forces personnel
  • a planning reference number for annexes or properties with planning restrictions
  • an employment contract for job-related dwellings

Class C exemption

The council tax Class C exemption is available for 6 months on properties that are substantially unfurnished and unoccupied. 

View information about discounts and exemptions.

More information

If you would like to bring an empty property back into full-time use, you may be entitled to help from the following: