Empty homes premium – have your say

Derbyshire Dales District Council is consulting on potential changes that could see up to four times the usual Council Tax charged on long term empty homes.

From 1 April 2020 councils have had the power to triple the Council Tax on homes empty for five to 10 years and, from 1 April this year, quadruple it for those empty for more than a decade.

The District Council already charges double Council Tax on homes that have been empty for more than two years. Empty homes are defined as those that are unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

Residents, owners of empty properties and other stakeholders can take part in the online consultation now.

The District Council's Director of Housing Rob Cogings said:
"In 2018 we consulted on doubling Council Tax after Government announced it was making this possible. We received overwhelming support, with 74% of respondents keen to see the premium introduced.
"Now we are considering adopting the higher premiums for homes empty for more than five years and more than 10 years. We estimate this will impact up to 100 empty homes, which represent a small but deteriorating proportion of the homes in the district.
"Some have been empty for longer than 10 years and show little sign of being brought back into use."
Mr Cogings said the District Council recognised that some of these homes could take some time for owners to bring them back in to use, while others might be undergoing renovation or failing on the property market.

He added:
"This is why we are keen to know local views about adopting the higher premiums from 1 April 2023, which would give owners sufficient time to sell or renovate their property.
"These changes are proposed because empty homes are a wasted resource and can be the cause of anti-social behaviour. Empty homes also drain the heat from neighbouring occupied properties and impact the value of homes next door.
"By increasing the Council Tax on homes that have been empty for more than five and 10 years, the Council aims to encourage owners to sell, improve or let their properties. This will help to meet local housing need and reduce pressure for greenfield land to be released to build new homes."
Some of the additional resources generated by higher Council Tax could be used to support a new officer post dedicated to providing advice and assistance to the owners of empty homes who are unsure how to go about bringing them back into use.

The results of the consultation will be presented to district councillors at a meeting on 27 January 2022. The report to the meeting will be available from 19 January on the Council's website at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/committee
Derbyshire Dales District Council is consulting on potential changes that could see up to four times the usual Council Tax charged on long term empty homes.

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