This consultation closed on 02/10/2012.
Through joint action with our partners, Bradford Council is delivering an action plan to improve the standard of living across the district by tackling the number of homes that are standing empty across the district.
Empty homes have a financial impact on the local area. Empty homes can be targeted for vandalism and can quickly become a dumping ground for rubbish. So not only does the empty home owner lose potential income from letting or selling the property, an empty home also affects the value of surrounding properties.
The Government is making a number changes in relation to Council Tax that take effect by 1 April 2013, so that councils can ensure that the Council Tax scheme supports local priorities. As part of this, councils will be able to change the level of council tax discounts and exemptions on empty properties and second homes.
We think that there are some changes on empty property and second home Council Tax discounts that will support our aim to turn empty properties into homes that people value.
We would like your views on these proposed changes - the closing date for this consultation is 02/10/2012.
What were we considering?
- ending the Council Tax exemption for properties that are empty for less than six months. This means that people who own empty homes will have to pay full Council Tax from the time that they become empty : This has been changed so that a property gets 100% discount for ONE MONTH ONLY.
- ending the Council Tax exemption on empty properties that are undergoing major structural repair. This means that people who own empty properties that are undergoing structural repairs will have to pay full Council Tax . This has been changed so that a property gets 100% discount for ONE MONTH ONLY.
- ending the 10% discount on holiday homes/second homes : This was PASSED.
- introduce an additional 50% Council Tax charge for properties that have been empty for over two years. This means that owners of all properties that have been empty for over two years will have to pay 150% Council Tax for their property : This was PASSED.
When would this happen?
In order to fit with the Government’s changes due for 1 April 2013, we will have to decide what changes to make to current Council Tax discounts for empty properties and second homes by October 2012.
Why are we considering this change?
There is a shortage of housing in the Bradford district. As the local population is rapidly growing and house building activity is at a record low, the need for housing, including affordable housing, is at an unprecedented level.
We need to get empty properties back in to use. Empty properties are a big problem in Bradford. Over half of all empty properties have been empty for over six months.
- can quickly become eyesores, creating a negative impact on neighbourhoods,
- are targets for burglary and vandalism and can attract anti-social behaviour and drug abuse,
- are associated with problems such as damp, decay and vermin and can quickly become dumping grounds for rubbish,
- affect the value of adjoining properties.
In the current economic climate, we need to make the best use of all available resources to promote the economic and social well being of everyone who lives in the district. We know that empty homes have a financial impact on the local area. They also effect how people feel about their neighbourhood in terms of fear of crime and how well people in their communities get on together. Empty homes are a wasted resource.