By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Councils granted extra powers in empty homes clampdown

The Government has given local authorities powers to double the council tax charged on long-term empty homes after 12 months.

The time period is up from one year.

The Department for Levelling Up confirmed a very limited number of exceptions have been set out following a public consultation, which will ensure the changes are fair to homeowners. 


These will apply to empty properties that are uninhabitable due to extensive renovation, second homes that are not available for use year-round due to planning restrictions or for up to a year on homes that have been inherited to prevent families who are grieving from having to pay. 

Minister for Local Government Simon Hoare said: “Long term empty properties are shutting local families and young people out of the housing market as they are being denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community. 

“So, we are taking action as part of our long-term plan for housing. That means delivering more of the right homes in the right places and giving councils more powers to help give local people the homes they need.” 

"This follows reforms to give councils greater power to control short-term lets by making them subject to the planning process which will protect people from being pushed out of their local areas, preventing a “hollowing out” of communities and ensuring local people can continue to live in the place they call home. 

"The changes are part of the government’s long term plan for housing, unlocking more of the homes this country needs and meeting the target to deliver one million homes this Parliament, backed by £10 billion investment.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: "Whilst we welcome the focus from the UK Government on cracking down on long term empty homes, it would be more effective to introduce a dedicated grant scheme alongside other incentives such as interest-free loans and a first-time buyer’s grant to support people to bring empty property back into use, rather than penalising them through higher council tax premiums until they do so.

"Where a similar policy has been introduced in Wales, we are yet to see a positive impact so policy makers must do more to fully understand the causes of why homes are left empty.”   


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up