A newly formed cross-sector commission is calling on the government to give local authorities more powers to raise the council tax premium for long-term empty homes
The government launched its Empty Dwellings Bill, which gets its third reading in the House of Lords today, in March, pledging to double the council tax premium paid by landlords of long-term empty homes. Speaking at the launch of the bill, Richmond MP and housing minister Rishi Sunak insisted that the “new power will equip councils with the tools they need to encourage owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use “.
Today we are urging @UKHouseofLords to back an amendment to the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill to increase the rate of extra council tax on empty homes https://t.co/HEqvTW9Em0#ukhousing#localgov
— LGANews (@LGANews) July 18, 2018
As a result, councils would be able to up the charge to 200 per cent for homes empty for five years and 300 per cent of ten years in a bid to bring dwellings back into use and solve the housing crisis.
Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “When we face a chronic housing shortage across the country it is wrong for so many homes to be left empty. Councils work hard to address the issue but the existing powers open to them are complex and difficult to use,” he said. “All councils should be able to borrow to build and keep 100 per cent of any Right to Buy homes that are sold to boost the supply of genuinely affordable homes with the necessary infrastructure.”