Council tax on long-term empty homes in Broadland to quadruple

Broadland Council's cabinet committee has agreed to increase council tax premiums on long-term empty

Broadland Council's cabinet committee has agreed to increase council tax premiums on long-term empty homes. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Broadland Council has agreed to adopt new legislation which will see council tax on long-term empty homes quadruple in 2021.

The council's cabinet committee met on Monday to discuss the council tax premium on empty homes, which are currently set at 50pc for homes which have been empty for two years.

A report to the committee recommended increasing this premium to 100pc from April 1 this year and to increase again to 200pc by April 2020 for homes that have been empty for five years.

From April 2021, this will increase to 300pc for homes that have been lying dormant for 10 years or more in a bid to bring houses back into use.

This would mean a homeowner of a band D property which has been vacant for more than a decade will currently pay £2,625 per year, but this will increase to £7,000 from April 2021.

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Simon Quilter, interim revenues and benefits manager, told committee members that since legislation was enforced in 2013 to increase council tax premiums the number of empty homes in Broadland has reduced by nearly 50pc.

At the time when the premium was first introduced in 2013, there were approximately 175 properties in Broadland which had been empty for more than two years. The increase in council tax has led to that number falling to around 100, with around 38 that have been empty for more than five years.

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Mr Quilter said the decline in empty homes was partly down to the premium increase and working closely with the council's empty homes officer.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plans in a meeting which lasted less than five minutes.

Those who will be exempt from the tax hikes include owners who have gone into residential care or have died.

Members of the armed forces who are required to live in Ministry of Defence accommodation for their employment are also exempt from paying the premium on homes they leave empty as a result.

Norfolk County Council has agreed to contribute £30,000 towards administration costs for councils which opts to increase premium charges to the full extent.

Councillor Trudy Mancini-Boyle said: 'I appreciate county putting some money towards this as they gain to be the biggest beneficiaries.'

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