Empty home Council Tax charge increase to boost housing stock

Owners of empty properties across Rother will have to pay more on top of their council tax as part of a drive to increase the district's housing stock.

From April, owners of homes that have stood empty and unfurnished for more than two years will be charged a 100 per cent premium – an increase from the current 50 per cent premium.

The move was agreed in February last year as part of the council’s housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy which identifies increasing the supply of housing in the district a priority.
 
Cllr Charles Clark, the district council’s portfolio holder for housing, welfare and equalities, said: “There are 181 homes across the district that have stood empty for more than two years. While this may not sound like a large number, they could make a huge difference to families at risk of crisis and those looking for quality housing.

“We hope that, by increasing the amount of money the owners of these properties pay on top of their council tax, will encourage them to bring them back into use and help us meet the growing demand for quality and suitable housing in Rother and help us tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.”

Letters have been sent to all owners whose properties have stood empty for two years or more, explaining the reasons behind the increase in premium.

Financial incentives are available for owners of empty, unfurnished homes who let their properties to people working with the authority’s housing team, and the council is interested in purchasing two and three bedroom properties.

Anyone interested in letting or selling their long-term empty property can contact tenantfinder@rother.gov.uk 

Published: 4th March 2020