Charges on unoccupied homes

At a full council meeting on 16 December 2019, councillors will review their decision on charging the council tax premium on long term empty properties. The proposal will be to continue charging the current level of premium.

The council tax empty property premium is a charge on homes which have been left unoccupied and unfurnished for 2 years or more. Legislation giving councils the power to charge a council tax premium of 50 per cent (1.5 times council tax charge) was introduced from 1 April 2013.

Cheltenham Borough Council first introduced the premium at 50 per cent with effect from 1 April 2018. New legislation was introduced in November 2018 and at a full council meeting on 10 December 2018 councillors decided to increase the level of premium to the maximum allowed in the legislation.

Councillors unanimously supported the increase in the premium and agreed that it was important that empty properties were brought back into use and the council should do the maximum it could to do this.

There are two exceptions in the legislation where the premium will not apply:

  1. where the property is left empty by a serving member of the armed forces who is absent from the property as a result of such service
  2. empty annexes

Read the full report.

The table below shows the various levels of premium payable based on the length of time a property has been empty.

Start date for level of premium

Length of time property has been empty

Level of Premium

 

From 1 April 2018

 

Properties which have been empty for 2 years or more

50% premium

1.5 x council tax liability is payable

From 1 April 2019

Properties  which have been empty for 2 years or more

 

100% premium

2 x council tax liability is payable

 

 

 

From 1 April 2020

 

 

Properties  which have been empty for 2 years or more

 

 

Properties  which have been empty for 5 years or more

 

100% premium

2 x council tax liability is payable

 

 

200% premium

3 x council tax liability is payable

 

From 1 April 2021

 

Properties  which have been empty for 2 years or more

 

Properties  which have been empty for 5 years or more

 

 

Properties  which have been empty for 10 years or more

100% premium

2 x council tax liability is payable

 

200% premium

3 x council tax liability is payable

 

 

300% premium

4 x council tax liability is payable

 

If you have any views or comments on the premium that you would like councillors to be aware of prior to the meeting on 16 December 2019 please email them to ctsconsultation@cheltenham.gov.uk no later than 5pm on Tuesday 10 December 2019.

Please note that your email will be forwarded to all councillors prior to the meeting.