Councils are able to change council tax discounts given on certain properties and so Cumbria County Council is reviewing the discounts offered for empty dwellings and the level of council tax premium charged on long term empty dwellings.
The Council wants to encourage home owners to bring empty homes back into use as quickly as possible and it is expected that proposals will encourage owners of empty properties to make them available for housing, either by putting them up for sale or rent, thereby increasing housing across the district.
A spokesperson from Cumbria County Council said: "This will generate additional income from changes to discounts on empty homes and by increasing the empty home premium. This additional income could be used to offset the costs of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and other budget savings the Council is required to make. These proposals are made in line with the Councils objectives for Empty Homes."
What could the changes mean?
This could mean some owners of empty homes may have to pay more Council Tax, for example:
- Owners of empty homes.
- Owners of homes that will have been empty for 2 years or more at 1 April 2021
- Anyone who owns a home that is in need of, or awaiting major works, or structural repair.