Council Tax changes to bring more empty Sefton properties back into use

04 March 2024 3 min read

This year, National Empty Homes Week is highlighting local initiatives to make sure more empty homes are brought back into use more quickly. Run by Action on Empty Homes, runs from Monday 4th March to Sunday 10th March.

Empty or only lived in occasionally

To bring more Sefton properties that are empty or only lived in occasionally into use, the Council agreed in January to introduce 100% Council Tax premiums on dwellings left empty for one year or more from 1st  April 2024 and on dwellings occupied periodically, from 1st April 2025

This is strengthening of the Council existing scheme which sees an extra 100% Council Tax if a property has been left empty and unfurnished for two years.


One example of how this is working, is a property in Litherland.

The mid-terraced property, located within Sefton’s designated selective licensing area, has been left vacant since the previous owner passed away over 13 years ago. It had continued to deteriorate over that time and the Council had received many complaints regarding its untidy appearance and rodent activity.

Works were carried out on the property by the Council and an enforced sale mean it could be brought back into use as a family home. The Council was also able to recover its costs for the work that had been carried out.

Shortage of available and affordable housing

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “It is important that with the shortage of  available and affordable housing in Sefton, the Council does all it can to make bring empty or rarely used properties back into use, which is why we have to strengthen our policies.

“Introducing the significant Council Tax premium more quickly will help encourage owners to bring empty or little-used homes back into use either by selling or renting them.”

Advice and support for owners

Sefton Council tries to work with owners affected to advise them about the Council Tax premiums and to explain how they can find advice and support by contacting the Housing Standards team on 0345 140 0845 or email

People who are concerned about a local property that has been empty for a long time, can also report it  to the Housing Standards team on 0345 140 0845 or email them at

You can use this link to find out more about the Council's Empty Homes Plan 2019-2024.

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