Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To increase the long-term empty property
premium for properties empty in excess of 5 years
Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Finance Officer which sought approval to increase the council tax empty property premium from 100% to 200% with effect from 1 April 2020 for properties that have been empty in excess of 5 years.
Cabinet members were informed that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee would consider the report in January 2020. The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been consulted and had indicated he was satisfied with the recommendations being put forward.
The empty property premium could remain at 100%. However, Government has identified that additional measures are needed to continue the improvements already made and have amended the legislation.
Of the 238 properties that are currently subject to the premium, 61 have been empty in excess of 5 years and a further 34 in excess of 10 years, so there are still problems locally that need to be addressed and the 100% premium isn’t working in these cases.
The 95 long-term empty properties that have been empty in excess of 5 years and the other 143 that have been empty more than 2 years are causing problems in their communities and adding pressure on the overall housing stock.
1. That the council tax empty property premium being increased from 100% to 200% with effect from 1 April 2020 for properties that have been empty in excess of 5 years be approved.
Reasons for the decision:
In April 2013, Government gave local authorities power to determine the level of empty property discounts in dwelling classes B, C and D (Section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012). The power included an option to charge a premium of up to 50% where a property has been empty in excess of two years. The Council decided to introduce a 50% premium with effect from 1 April 2013 and increased this to 100% with effect from 1 April 2019.
From 1 April 2020, Government is increasing the optional maximum empty property premium charge to 200% for properties that have been empty in excess of 5 years.
With effect from 1 April 2021, Government is also increasing the optional maximum empty property premium charge to 300% for properties that have been empty in excess of 10 years.
Eligible for call in - yes
Report author: Keith Mackenzie
Publication date: 26/02/2020
Date of decision: 02/12/2019
Decided at meeting: 02/12/2019 - Cabinet