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Council to introduce changes to Council Tax discounts and premiums for empty properties

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Following recent changes to Central Government Legislation, Council's across the UK were given discretion to alter Council Tax premiums and discounts in relation to long-term empty properties. With royal assent given to the Bill in November 2018, Torridge Council's Community and Resources Committee have elected to apply changes from 1st April 2019.

While any extra income generated will support Council services against a backdrop of reducing grants, Councillors also felt that the changes were a way forward to encourage home owners to bring empty properties back into use. The changes will involve adoption of maximum premiums for long term empty properties, limiting the no council tax charge for unoccupied and unfurnished properties down from 3 months to just 1 month. They will also reduce the applicable no council tax charge for properties undergoing major structural alterations down from 1 year to a six month maximum period from April 2019 and a zero discount from April 2020 onwards.

In 2017/18 there were around 3,300 unoccupied and unfurnished properties in Torridge and around 257 undergoing long term structural alterations.

Torridge District Council Customer Support Manger - Simon Toon said:

"By implementing these changes it is hoped  this will encourage property owners to minimise the time that their property remains empty and or uninhabitable. It will also bring Torridge charges into line with those charged by most other councils."

Full details of applicable discounts and premiums charged for empty properties can be found at https://www.torridge.gov.uk/emptyproperties-premiums