Empty Homes Scheme

Changes to Council Tax Discounts and Premiums for empty homes proposed for 2014-15 onwards

In April 2013 the Government removed Council Tax Benefit and reduced the grant given to Councils to fund these benefits. To cover the reduced funding, Spelthorne adopted its own Local Council Tax Support Scheme. At the same time Spelthorne changed council tax payments on empty homes. There is currently no discount for second homes, a 25 per cent discount for uninhabitable homes, houses empty for more than two years have to pay 150 per cent, and there is a progressive discount for empty homes.

The withdrawal of a one year government grant and the increasing pressure on Council Tax means that the Council has had to re-examine its position. Public consultation was undertaken in autumn 2013.

On 19 December 2103 the Council adopted a revised Empty Homes scheme to run from 1 April 2014 for a minimum of two years. On 1 April 2014 the amount of Council Tax charged for empty properties will be as follow:

Empty Homes - No Council Tax payable for the first month. The full charge will apply for the following 23 months (change from 2013-14 scheme)

Long Term Empty - After two years of being empty, the Council will increase the Council Tax charge to 150% (same as 2013-14 scheme)

Second Home - 100 per cent charge will apply (same as 2013-14 scheme)

Uninhabitable or undergoing structural renovation - 75 per cent charge will apply (change from 2103-14 scheme)