Council doubles council tax on long-term empty homes

Posted on: 22 February 2019

Mid Devon District Council is set to double council tax premiums on long-term empty homes.

Following a meeting of Full Council on 27th February 2019 the decision was approved as an incentive for owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use. The decision was previously recommended by cabinet on Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Since 2013, the council along with other local authorities in England, have been able to charge a council tax premium of up to 50 per cent on long-term empty dwellings that have remained unoccupied for two or more years.

This is on top of usual council tax fees.

However, given that the current shortfall in housing is one of the most pressing issues faced by the UK at this time, the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018, empowers local authorities to apply a new 100 per cent premium.

Therefore, a charge of £1,000.00 for an occupied property will increase to £2,000.00 if it’s been empty for two or more years.

This change will come into effect from 1st April 2019.

Deputy Chief Executive and Section 151 Officer Andrew Jarrett said:

“Mid Devon doesn’t have many empty homes thanks to our work with homeowners to bring properties back into use and our subsidised loan scheme for home repairs, but we’re still determined to take this issue seriously.

“Leaving properties empty for years is something we want to deter.  We’re using the powers we have to encourage owners to bring their empty properties back into use, so that more homes are readily available.”

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Posted in: My Council