James Brokenshire

Councils can now quadruple tax on long-term empty homes

An amendment to the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill has given councils the ability to increase the empty homes premium thresholds.

Councils will now be able to triple the council tax on homes left empty for between five and 10 years from April 2020.

Meanwhile, the premium for homes left empty for more than 10 years can be quadrupled from 2021.

Properties left empty for two to five years will still be subject to council tax bills being doubled under the proposal.

The tax increases will be subject to revised guidance given to councils.

James Brokenshire, secretary of state for communities (pictured above), said: “We’re determined to do everything we can to ensure our communities have the housing they need.

“That’s why we’re giving councils extra flexibility to increase bills and incentivise owners to bring longstanding empty homes back into use.

“By equipping councils with the right tools to get on with the job, we could potentially provide thousands more families with a place to call home.”

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