Council tax on empty properties

empty homes, Sutton, tax

Published Wednesday, 23rd January 2019

Changes to council tax premium for owners of empty homes?

Sutton Council is set to increase the council tax premium for owners of empty homes subject to agreeing proposals at a meeting of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee on 29 January 2019.

The proposals are aimed at encouraging people not to leave homes empty. Currently, some empty property owners benefit from a 10% discount on their council tax. 

The latest proposals are:

• removal of the 10% discount currently awarded on properties that are empty but
have been left furnished with effect from 1 April 2019
• increase the premium payable on long term empty properties (empty for longer than
two years) from 50% to 100% with effect from 1 April 2019
• agree to increase the premium payable on long term empty properties (empty for longer than five years) from 100% to 200% with effect from 1 April 2020
• agree to increase the premium payable on long term empty properties (empty for longer than ten years) from 200% to 300% with effect from 1 April, 2021

Councillor David Bartolucci, Lead Member Revenues and Benefits, said: “It just isn’t acceptable to have homes in our borough empty when there is such an acute need for housing in Sutton.

“Too many homes are being left empty while we have a housing waiting list. This is not acceptable, nor is it in keeping with the Government’s or our efforts to tackle the shortfall in national housing.

“Empty homes have an adverse impact on the local area and are a wasted resource. 

“As a council, we must act responsibly for the community as a whole. Getting properties back into use is good news for everyone. They can provide homes for people, while generating an income for the owners either through a sale or rent.

“I hope that alerting people to these proposals will prompt empty property owners to start thinking now about their responsibilities to making accommodation available to live in.

“Any increase in tax revenue will also help serve the most vulnerable residents in the Borough.”

The proposed changes to tax discounts received cross-party support from a group of councillors tasked to consider this proposal.