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Govt brings in 100 per cent council tax for long-term empty homes

  • 11/03/2024
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Govt brings in 100 per cent council tax for long-term empty homes
Homes that have been empty for a year will face a 100 per cent council tax premium from 1 April, a shortening of the previous two-year limit.

The government has brought in the policy to crack down on empty homes preventing local people from accessing affordable housing. It is also expected to bring more money in for councils and potentially lead to reduced council tax bills. 

Councils will be able to spend the money generated from the higher tax bill in the next financial year. 

The Department for Levelling Up conducted a consultation on the policy and confirmed there would be limited exceptions. 

This will include where empty properties are inhabitable because of extensive renovation and second homes that are not available for year-round use due to planning restrictions. There will also be an exception of up to a year for homes that are inherited, so families who are grieving will not have to pay. 

The government said this would give homeowners clarity so they can plan for the changes before they come into effect. 

Simon Hoare, minister for local government, said: “Long-term empty properties are shutting local families and young people out of the housing market, as they are being denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community.

“So, we are taking action as part of our long-term plan for housing. That means delivering more of the right homes in the right places and giving councils more powers to help give local people the homes they need.” 

This follows the decision from the government to allow councils to subject short-term lets to the planning process to make more homes available and “protect people from being pushed out of their local areas”. 

It is part of the government’s long-term plan for housing to deliver one million homes this Parliament. 

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