Council offers six-month tax relief on empty homes
- Credit: Harry Rutter
Owners of empty homes in Fenland could be handed a six-month tax relief to help bring properties back into use.
Councils are permitted to double the rate of council tax on homes that have been empty for two or more years under current government legislation, a premium of up to 100 per cent of council tax.
But Fenland District Council (FDC) have recognised over the past year that increased rates have caused financial difficulties and removed funds from renovation projects.
The council is now offering to suspend the premium charge for new owners of long-term properties to encourage those taking steps to bring properties back into use.
Councillor Samantha Hoy, FDC’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “We are committed to reducing the number of empty properties in Fenland, and tackling the issues associated with long-term empty homes.
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“When empty homes are left unmanaged, they become subject to vandalism, social issues and degradation.
“With record demands for housing and growing social housing waiting lists, they are a waste of a scarce resource.”
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Owners must apply for the suspension within six months of buying the property with the aim of renovation to sell, rent or inhabit the property.
They also must complete the project within six months, and failing to do so will result in the premium charge being reinstated.
For more information and for details of the council’s empty homes service, visit: https://www.fenland.gov.uk/emptyhomes, email Lorraine Moore, empty homes officer at FDC on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01354 654321.