From Monday 1st April 2019 the Council will be increasing the Council Tax premium charged on ‘empty homes’. These are classed as domestic properties that have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for a continuous period of two years or more.
Currently the premium is 50% and from April it will be increasing to 100%. Typically, at any one time, there are around 350 properties in Derby that have been empty for two years or more and are charged a Council Tax premium.
In Derby, thousands of families are waiting for a home and in order to meet this demand for housing the Council needs to make the best possible use of its existing stock. In addition, empty properties can be detrimental to the lives of local residents as they are a magnet for crime and antisocial behaviour, drive down property values locally and contribute to urban decline and blight. They also represent a risk for the emergency services and put added pressure on various council departments such as Environmental Health and Anti-Social Behaviour teams.
The Council believes that increasing the amount of Council Tax payable on long term empty properties is a key factor in encouraging the owners of long term empty properties to bring them back into use.
Councillor Nicola Roulstone (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) says;
“We want everybody in Derby to have a safe and affordable place to live but recognise that the demand for housing far outstrips supply. We are determined to take action to bring as many long term empty properties back into use. Not only will this help to address the housing shortfall, it will reduce the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour associated with long term empty properties and will raise much needed revenue.”