The Council’s Cabinet will meet next week (15 November) to discuss the start of a consultation process about increasing the council tax charge for long term empty properties.
The proposal would help to bring empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure and affordable homes and would also support the council to improve the sustainability of local communities.
As of October 2022, the latest data shows there are 701 long-term empty properties in the county borough. Out of the above total, 275 properties have been vacant for over five years. A long-term empty property is defined as a place of residence, which is both unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of at least one year.
It is proposed that there should be a four-week consultation period, which will include the Council writing directly to the owner of every empty property to invite their feedback.
The results of the consultation would then be presented to Cabinet in due course.