The Council are asking residents and owners their thoughts on the council tax discounts available for empty properties in the Borough.
Since 1 April 2013 local councils have had the discretion on whether or not to allow discounts on the council tax payable for empty homes and also whether a premium of up to 50% should be charged for properties which are left empty long term for over 2 years.
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council currently operates the following scheme –
- 100% discount for the first 28 days when a property becomes unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.
- 50% discount for a maximum of 12 months for a property which requires major repairs or is undergoing structural alterations to make it habitable.
- 50% premium (making a total of 150% of the normal charge) for a property which has been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for over 2 years.
The Government has announced changes to allow councils to increase the long term empty premium to 100% from 1 April 2019.
The council is considering removing the 2 discounts above and also increasing the premium for long term empty properties to 100% with effect from 1 April 2019.
Empty properties do still benefit from the provision of public services, such as access to Police and Fire services, street lighting, road sweeping, and refuse collection (which may be more than usual at a time of moving house).
The council wishes to encourage long term empty properties to be brought back into use as soon as possible.
The changes being considered here would bring in an additional income in the region of £150,000 to be able to be spent on services provided by Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Police, and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.
Please complete the on-line consultation form at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XSN6JDV.
Alternatively, you can complete and submit a paper form which are available from our Customer Services Centre at 40 Bell Street, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1AD.
Please let us have your response by 30 September 2018. Thank you.