Massive council tax rise warning to Doncaster landlords with long-term empty properties

Homeowners who have empty properties in Doncaster are set to see their council tax bills soar.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 14:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 13:45 pm
Jarrett Street close to Doncaster town centre had three properties which have been empty for 10 or more years as of August 2018. Picture: George Torr

Cabinet members are expected to rubber-stamp plans to increase rates by a whopping 400 per cent for properties which have stood empty for 10 years or more.

The council say of the 599 empty properties across the borough, the majority are on the lowest council tax band paying £936 a year.

Latest figures show 99 properties in Doncaster have stood empty for 10 or more years which means after the new increase is passed, a landlord with an empty band A property will have to pay £3,745 in council tax.

Powers were given to councils initially in 2013 in order to encourage landlords to renovate and let homes out to residents.

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Properties which have stood empty for two years or more will see bills double and those that have been empty for five years or more will pay three times as much.

If the number of empty homes stays the same, housing bosses have calculated the council could receive an extra £1.4 million by March 2022.

But officers expect the figure to be closer to £980,000 due to the falling number of empty properties since the law was passed in 2013.

The empty homes premium does not apply however to empty properties that are exempt from council tax charges.

Under the laws, no council tax is payable for empty properties that are left unoccupied by someone who has gone to live in a residential care home; unoccupied because someone has moved to receive or provide personal care or left empty because the taxpayer has died and grant of probate letters or letters of administration have not been granted.

Once probate/letters of administration are granted, the exemption continues for a further six months unless the property is reoccupied, let, sold or transferred.

Marian Bolton, head of revenues and benefits at Doncaster Council, said: “The proposals are designed to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use in which case normal council tax charges will apply.

“It is therefore anticipated that the proposals will impact positively on the citizens of Doncaster generally as more homes are made available across the borough and some of the issues associated with long-term empty properties such as vandalism and nuisance are reduced.”