Changes to Council Tax Discounts for Empty and Second Homes

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Have Your Say Regarding the Changes

Changes to Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

The Government is proposing changes to Council Tax discounts and exemptions in respect of empty homes and second homes.  There will also be a new power to charge an additional amount of Council Tax on houses that have been continuously empty for more than 2 years.

The Government intends to make the change in legislation to start from 1 April 2013.  This will allow all councils greater flexibility over certain discounts and exemptions that can apply to empty homes in their local areas.

What is Hyndburn Borough Council Proposing?

The Council has reviewed the Government’s proposals and wants to encourage home owners to bring empty homes back into use as quickly as possible because empty homes are often a cause of problems for neighbouring residents.  This also supports the Council’s regeneration aim of bringing empty homes back into use.

As a result, the Council has developed a set of proposed changes to the current Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

What could the changes mean?

This could mean some owners of empty homes may have to pay more Council Tax, for example:-

  • Owners of second homes
  • Owners of empty homes
  • Owners of homes that will have been empty for 2 years or more at 1 April 2013
  • Anyone who owns a home that is in need of, or awaiting major works, or structural repair and remain empty at 1 April 2013

What we will not be changing

Most Council Tax rules are set by Government legislation, and therefore other discounts and exemptions will not be changed, for example:-

  • The amount of the sole occupier discount (25%)
  • The home is empty because the person is living in a hospital, residential care home or nursing home
  • The home is empty due to death of the owner, and for up to 6 months after probate is granted

How to get involved

In this consultation we described what our proposals are and seek your views on these proposed changes.  To give us your views, fill in the online questionnaire linked below or request a questionnaire by telephone on 01254 388 111.  The consultation period ended on the 18 December 2012.

What we will do with your feedback

The information you provide will be treated confidentially and used solely by Hyndburn Borough Council.  Your views and the information provided will be analysed and published and will form part of a report where the Council will make a decision on the final proposals and Council Tax charges for the financial year 2013/14.

Findings below:

Cabinet Report 9th January 2013 Technical Reforms of Council Tax Empty Homes and Second Homes

Appendix 1 Consultation Findings