Landlords facing a tax blitz
Landlords who leave their properties standing empty for more than two years face a new tax blitz, after the government introduced new proposals.
Under the plans, local authorities have been given the authority to raise an extra £420 million a year in council tax from homes left vacant and second homes only used at weekends.
The ‘Empty Homes Premium’ penalises landlords who can currently claim discounts of their council tax for under-use.
With around one million homes standing empty around the UK the government is determined to get them back into use and help clear the backlog of people waiting for council homes.
Andrew Stunell, the Liberal Democrat communities minister, described empty homes as a “scourge” on the UK.
“They are a blight on our communities and a waste of much-needed housing. It is madness that councils have been forced to offer discounts on empty and second homes, which don’t take into account local circumstances and provide an incentive to leave homes vacant indefinitely,” he concluded.
Last year, 246,000 properties were eligible for a second-home discount of ten to 50 per cent, costing councils £42 million.
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