Richmondshire District Council

Council tax rise for long term empty properties

A strategy to bring long term empty homes back into use is reaping rewards.

In the last 12 months, 22 Richmondshire properties that had lain empty for many years have been re-occupied.

And from April this year the District Council’s strategy takes a tough new step. All buildings empty for more than ten years will be subject to paying a 300% council tax premium – on top of the normal charge. Properties empty for more than five years pay 200% extra, and those over two years 100%.

A standard Band D property paying council tax during this financial year has a bill of £1,286; a property that has lain empty for over ten years pays £5,144 – the original bill plus another 300%.

Local authorities have been asked by central government to look at measures to encourage the owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back on to the housing market, including changes to council tax premiums.

“As a result of our stance over the last 12 months we have seen a 15% reduction in the number of long term empty homes in our district,” said Council Leader, Councillor Angie Dale.

“The numbers have dropped by 22 to 144 but we want to see that fall much further. We expect our tough new levels of council tax will go some way towards encouraging owners to get these homes into the housing market. We hope paying three times as much council tax will be a deterrent.”

Further details about council tax premiums for long term empty properties can be found on our council tax premiums page.