An empty property is a wasted home that could be lived in by someone who needs it.

From 1 April 2021, the Council Tax (Long Term) Empty Homes Premium for those properties that have been empty for more than 10 years will be increased from 200% to 300%.

The ‘Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018’ permits Councils to increase the Council Tax (Long Term) Empty Homes Premium for those properties that have been empty for a period time.

Owners of properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than 10 years, will be required to pay the premium in addition to the normal council tax charges.

There are currently less than 15 properties in Torbay which will be affected by this change.

Torbay currently has approximately 1300 households on its waiting list for housing, all who are looking for homes in the Bay. Increasing the overall supply and range of housing in Torbay and making the best use of existing housing is a key priority for us under our Housing Strategy.

Empty properties are a financial expense and we have a range of incentives for both landlords and potential owner occupiers to help bring long term empty properties back into use to help ease the shortage of housing in Torbay.

Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, Torbay Council, said; “Billing authorities in England, Scotland and Wales have the power to increase council tax on properties which have been unoccupied for a long period of time. The decision to implement this change was agreed at a council meeting in December 2020, as a way of encouraging owners of long term empty properties to bring them back into use.

We want empty property owners to know that they have options. You can repair the property for renting and receive a rental income, or sell it on the open market through a reputable estate agent. Our Housing Options Team can also assist you in finding suitable tenants”.

Owners of long term empty properties are encouraged to contact us for further help and advice.

Likewise, any landlords with accommodation to offer are also encouraged to get in touch.

For further information visit the advice for landlords page.

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