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Decision details

Council Tax Discounts for Empty and Uninhabitable Dwellings and Empty Premium

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decisions:

The Strategic Director (Internal) Services introduced a report, and accompanying addendum, which proposed reducing the level of Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings and for dwellings undergoing or requiring major structural repair from 1 April 2019. It was proposed to reduce the level of Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings from 100% for three months to 100% for two months and the discount for unoccupied dwellings undergoing or requiring major structural repair from 100% for 12 months to 0%. It was also proposed to increase the additional charge for dwellings that were unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more from 50% to 100%. The existing discounts had had the effect of providing a cushion to owners of these dwellings and acted as a disincentive for bringing the properties into occupation more quickly. The reduction of the discount would help to counter this and support the Council’s empty homes strategy. Kent County Council also supported reducing empty property discounts and had committed to give those authorities who had done so an incentive of 25% of the County’s share of additional Council Tax proceeds in 2019/20 (subject to review in future years).

 

The Cabinet discussed the recommendations and felt that it was important that these should support the Council’s overriding concerns to meet housing need and to reduce burdens on the homelessness service by discouraging properties being left empty. In view of this Members felt that the amount of Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings should be reduced from 100% for three months to 100% for one month rather than for two months. This would also align with the approach being proposed by Sevenoaks District Council and would fit better with the shared Revenues Service. 

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.  That the Cabinet recommends to the General Assembly of the Council that the Council Tax discount for unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings be reduced from 100% for three months to 100% for one month;

 

2.  That the Cabinet recommends to the General Assembly of the Council that the Council Tax discount for unoccupied dwellings undergoing or requiring major structural repair be reduced from 100% for 12 months to 0% for 12 months; and

 

3.  That the Cabinet recommends to the General Assembly of the Council that the additional charge for dwellings that are unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more be increased from 50% to 100%.

Publication date: 01/04/2019

Date of decision: 24/01/2019

Decided at meeting: 24/01/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 25/01/2019

Accompanying Documents: