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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Paying rates on empty homes

Owners of empty properties will receive a rates bill for the empty property each year.

You do not have to pay rates on an empty property if

  • the property's capital value is under £20,000
  • you apply for an exclusion from rating and this is approved.

What is an empty property?

Land and Property Services, (LPS), deals with rates. LPS says a property is only empty if

  • no-one lives in it
  • it is not used for storage
  • it is not furnished.

In most cases, you will still have to pay rates for your empty properties. But, you may be able to apply for an exclusion.

Who can apply for an exclusion from rates?

You can apply for an exclusion from rates if you own an empty property and

  • it cannot legally be occupied
  • it cannot be occupied because of the actions of a public body
  • it is a listed building
  • it is empty due to severe flooding
  • you have been declared bankrupt
  • you are the personal representative of the former owner
  • you are a trustee under a deed of arrangement
  • the property was your main home and you are now in residential care
  • the property was your main home and you are now in detention
  • your property has been accepted on the Housing Executive's Scheme for the Purchase of Evacuated Dwellings

You can get a form to apply for the exclusion from NI Direct. You will need to send the form and any evidence to LPS.