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Council tax blow for empty Hyndburn homes
A COUNCIL tax rates overhaul could see the owners of long-term empty homes penalised.
Hyndburn Council has drafted plans that will not only remove council tax exemption for empty prop-erties, but bring in a premium rate of 150per cent after two years.
Deputy leader Clare Pritchard said she hoped it would end ‘chronic’ problems where whole neighbourhoods suffer anti-social behaviour, vandalism, fly tipping, and falling house prices. Currently there are approximately 2,500 empty dwellings in the borough at any one time, of which more than 600 are empty for more than two years.
The plans follow a move by Hyndburn Council to bring in a landlord licensing scheme.
Coun Pritchard said: “It is a real problem which has seen some areas hugely affected.
“The temptation is for some owners to landbank their property, which sees the neighbour-hood suffer. These plans will be widely consulted on, and we hope to see it make a real change across the borough and end the problem.”
The exemptions which currently apply to uninhabitable homes and empty properties would instead see a discount applied.
The rules would also apply to homes repossessed by a mortgage lender, so financial institutions would have to pay council tax on repossessed homes. Currently second home owners, and owners of empty properties, pay no council tax.
Consultation on the plans will be be implemented from next month.
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