Lancashire TelegraphBurnley Council plans new penalties for owners of empty properties (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Burnley Council plans new penalties for owners of empty properties

FRESH penalties are set to be imposed on landlords by council bosses to tackle the problem of empty homes in Burnley and Padiham.

Council tax waivers have been available to house owners if the property is empty for less than six months.

But this will be replaced by a 50 per cent discount if proposals being considered by Burnley’s full council meeting are ratified on Thursday.

Empty properties which are undergoing major structural repairs, which similarly qualify for an exemption, will also be subject to the 50 per cent levy.

Other homes which have been empty for longer than six months, but not longer than a year, which currently enjoy a 50 per cent reduction, will also see this disappear. And the same discount on second homes, and furnished and unoccupied properties, will also cease, if the plans are given the go-ahead.

An extra council tax premium, for properties that have been empty for more than two years, is likewise being proposed, with landlords having to pay 150 per cent of the bill.

Council bosses admit that the scheme could prove to be unpopular with landlords, especially those left with a raft of short-term bills.

But it is estimated that such moves could recoup £1.7million for the town hall’s coffers — and help to tackle the 1,500 long-term empty homes problem in the borough.

Resources manager Caroline Lee said in a report to councillors: “Burnley Council has 3.72 per cent of its housing stock classified as long term empty compared with the national figure of 1.21 per cent, so this legislation gives members an opportunity to create leverage to bring empty properties back into use.”

The move has been made possible by changes to the Local Government Finance Act.

Comments (6)

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1:33pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Mothernature says...

I'm all for empty properties being subject to council tax but, how can the council charge 50% more than the actual legally set amount for a property?
I'm all for empty properties being subject to council tax but, how can the council charge 50% more than the actual legally set amount for a property? Mothernature
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Tue 18 Dec 12

davemcb says...

Ludicrous that they will be taxing properties that are actually undergoing major structural repairs. It isn't as if they could be lived in.
Ludicrous that they will be taxing properties that are actually undergoing major structural repairs. It isn't as if they could be lived in. davemcb
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Mikeee47 says...

Council house stock???? I thought all this was sold off in 2004 to Burnley & Padiham community housing, now the latter Calico, a non profit housing company, so who is telling pork pies the LET or calico?
The Burnley council own No stock or they have a vestive interest in all Calico homes. funny how all the old council workers still work for calico.
I know it's a bit off topic but the LET seem to be getting a lot of things wrong lately.
Council house stock???? I thought all this was sold off in 2004 to Burnley & Padiham community housing, now the latter Calico, a non profit housing company, so who is telling pork pies the LET or calico? The Burnley council own No stock or they have a vestive interest in all Calico homes. funny how all the old council workers still work for calico. I know it's a bit off topic but the LET seem to be getting a lot of things wrong lately. Mikeee47
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Tue 18 Dec 12

woolywords says...

Mothernature wrote:
I'm all for empty properties being subject to council tax but, how can the council charge 50% more than the actual legally set amount for a property?
Poorly written article, Mum.
If a property is empty for up to 6 months, no Council Tax is payable currently because they allow an 100% discount. However, they are only going to allow a 50% discount in the future, so Landlords will be liable to pay.
If you think that is complicated, Blackburn allow 100% discount to Landlords who divide up an house into rooms and rent only the ground and first floor to tenants. If the top/attic floor is rented out, full Council tax is payable.
Then if you own a shop and have a flat above it and just use a part of it for storage, you don't have to pay Council Tax for it.
In all this money grabbing, they have created an absolute minefeild for the unwary. In spite of calls from Gov't to simplify things they have done nothing to do so.
You can have one adult couple living in an house paying full tax, while next door, eight adults in a rented property, paying nothing, quite legally and them enjoying the benefits of all council services.
It just is an open invitation, to the fiddling that is rife in the Borough.
[quote][p][bold]Mothernature[/bold] wrote: I'm all for empty properties being subject to council tax but, how can the council charge 50% more than the actual legally set amount for a property?[/p][/quote]Poorly written article, Mum. If a property is empty for up to 6 months, no Council Tax is payable currently because they allow an 100% discount. However, they are only going to allow a 50% discount in the future, so Landlords will be liable to pay. If you think that is complicated, Blackburn allow 100% discount to Landlords who divide up an house into rooms and rent only the ground and first floor to tenants. If the top/attic floor is rented out, full Council tax is payable. Then if you own a shop and have a flat above it and just use a part of it for storage, you don't have to pay Council Tax for it. In all this money grabbing, they have created an absolute minefeild for the unwary. In spite of calls from Gov't to simplify things they have done nothing to do so. You can have one adult couple living in an house paying full tax, while next door, eight adults in a rented property, paying nothing, quite legally and them enjoying the benefits of all council services. It just is an open invitation, to the fiddling that is rife in the Borough. woolywords
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Tue 18 Dec 12

midas says...

Mikeee47 wrote:
Council house stock???? I thought all this was sold off in 2004 to Burnley & Padiham community housing, now the latter Calico, a non profit housing company, so who is telling pork pies the LET or calico? The Burnley council own No stock or they have a vestive interest in all Calico homes. funny how all the old council workers still work for calico. I know it's a bit off topic but the LET seem to be getting a lot of things wrong lately.
I think its the way you read it (or she said it!). Looking at the figures when she said "its housing stock" I think she was refering to the number of houses in Burnley not the number of houses owned by the Council.
.
Whilst it might not be financial i would say that the Council have a vested interest in Calico as it houses so many of the residents of Burnley.
[quote][p][bold]Mikeee47[/bold] wrote: Council house stock???? I thought all this was sold off in 2004 to Burnley & Padiham community housing, now the latter Calico, a non profit housing company, so who is telling pork pies the LET or calico? The Burnley council own No stock or they have a vestive interest in all Calico homes. funny how all the old council workers still work for calico. I know it's a bit off topic but the LET seem to be getting a lot of things wrong lately.[/p][/quote]I think its the way you read it (or she said it!). Looking at the figures when she said "its housing stock" I think she was refering to the number of houses in Burnley not the number of houses owned by the Council. . Whilst it might not be financial i would say that the Council have a vested interest in Calico as it houses so many of the residents of Burnley. midas
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Tue 18 Dec 12

turbo5 says...

I filled in the questionaire on this subject and it was very biased in the questioning, Everybody thinks about some London Based Landlord who owns 20 empty properties and leaves them empty hoping for a compulsory purchase, when in reality your parent could die and it might take 2 years to sell the house and you will have to stump up the council tax.
I filled in the questionaire on this subject and it was very biased in the questioning, Everybody thinks about some London Based Landlord who owns 20 empty properties and leaves them empty hoping for a compulsory purchase, when in reality your parent could die and it might take 2 years to sell the house and you will have to stump up the council tax. turbo5
  • Score: 0

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