Burnley Council is undertaking a council tax consultation affecting empty properties and second properties.
Landlords, members of the public and other interested individuals and groups are being asked their opinions on a number of proposed options. They have until 10th December to give their views.
The changes being considered are:
- Ending the full council tax exemption for properties that are empty for less than six months and replacing it with a 50 per cent discount;
- Ending the full council tax exemption on empty properties that are undergoing major structural repair and replacing it with a 50 per cent discount for up to 12 months;
- Ending the 50 per cent discount on properties that have been empty for longer than six months (or 12 months if undergoing structural repair);
- Ending the 50 per cent discount on second homes/furnished and unoccupied homes;
- Introducing an additional 50 per cent council tax premium for properties that have been empty for over two years. Owners of all properties that have been empty for over two years will have to pay 150 per cent council tax for these properties.
Council leader Julie Cooper said, “Bringing empty properties back into use is a top priority for the council. Changing the council tax discounts will help encourage property owners to use their houses rather than leaving them empty and, in some cases, decaying and causing blight on the surrounding neighbourhood.
“Empty houses have a financial impact on the local area. They can become targets for vandalism, crime and anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping. Not only does the property owner lose potential income from letting or selling the house, but the property also affects the value of surrounding properties.”